WASHINGTON (AP) — The longtime Texas Republican tapped to lead the House probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is more familiar quietly working on agriculture issues.

But Rep. Mike Conaway has created headlines, including comparing the Russian meddling to Mexican entertainers trying to get out the vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in Nevada.

Conaway is a loyal party man, deeply religious and hails from one of the most Republican districts in the country. He has few ties to President Donald Trump and says he'll work with Democrats as he has on other congressional committees.

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan picked Conaway to continue the investigation after House intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes stepped aside from the probe, citing ethics complaints that he mishandled classified information.