Following the conference’s decision on Friday to remove Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the field of candidates vying for the position of the House Republicans’ third candidate for Speaker is swiftly expanding.
Friday, shortly after Jordan was denied in a third vote on the House floor, he was rejected by the conference by an internal secret ballot. One day subsequent to the rejection of support from Jordan’s allies, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who had narrowly prevailed over Jordan for the nomination, opted to withdraw his candidacy. Scalise declared his decision to withdraw from the nomination race on Tuesday.
Following two nominations that were unsuccessful, prospective successors to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are competing for the position.
The candidate forum organized by House Republicans will be held in private on Monday at 6:30 p.m. At 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, an internal nomination election will be held. The deadline for candidates to submit their candidacies is Sunday at noon.
The candidates and those contemplating vying for the position are listed below.
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.)
A person with knowledge of the situation claims that Emmer is declaring his candidacy for speaker and is enthusiastic about the position.
Upon the official insertion of his headwear into the arena, he will likely emerge as the frontrunner.
The most senior candidate for the position would be the majority whip, who previously presided over the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). His prior participation in leadership competitions may prove advantageous in this endeavor.
Furthermore, McCarthy’s endorsement of the Minnesota Republican as his successor conferred a substantial advantage upon him, as reported by The Hill, even prior to his declaration.
“He is the ideal candidate for the position. A conference that he can unify. He is aware of the conference’s dynamics. Punchbowl News was informed by McCarthy that “he also understands what it takes to win and keep a majority.”
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.)
Hern, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, proclaimed his candidacy for speaker as he exited the closed-door meeting where the Republican legislators had reached the decision to dismiss Jordan.
After McCarthy was removed from office, Hern considered running for speaker and attempted to communicate with conference members; however, he ultimately opted to observe the dispute between Scalise and Jordan.
Hern asserts that he is currently in. Furthermore, he is confident in his ability to unite the conference following a dismal few weeks in which Republicans were pitted against one another.
“It’s clear that our delegation is seeing things that differ from what we’ve observed thus far. When asked why he is running, he told reporters, “I bring a different perspective than maybe anybody else that could be running in this race.”
He continued, “I think that’s what you’re seeing right now—people want to be heard and they want to be valued.” “There are a number of past relationships that some people will never be able to resolve, and I don’t have those drawbacks.”
Mike Johnson (R-La.), Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference
A spokesperson claims that Johnson is in communication with individuals regarding potential speaker appearances.
The renowned attorney and former talk show host is well-liked within the House GOP as he serves his fourth term in Congress. He serves on the House Judiciary Committee.
Even prior to Jordan’s initial abortive floor vote last week, Johnson was receiving phone calls from other members who were interested in running for Speaker in the event that Jordan failed to secure the required support. Johnson, nevertheless, had vehemently supported Jordan’s nomination for speaker.
Rep. Jodey Arrington (Texas, Republican)
In light of Jordan’s decision to withdraw from the competition, House Budget Committee Chair Arrington disclosed that he is contemplating a bid for the Speakership.
“I am currently thinking about it and praying about it,” he remarked, noting that he needed to consult “a lot of people before that decision is made.”
After leaving the GOP conference meeting, Arrington was seen asking his wife, “What do you want me to do honey?” as he was being interviewed by media.
The Texas representative stated that “a number of members have asked us to consider it” and that he will discuss it with the other members of his state’s delegation.
Florida Representative Byron Donalds
Donalds, a legislator serving his second term and a member of the Financial Services and Oversight committees, is officially standing for Speaker, according to a spokesperson.
Among the four Black Republicans in the House, Donalds is a familiar face in the conservative media.
Both during McCarthy’s 15-ballot Speaker contest in January and during Jordan’s three ballots this week, he had garnered votes for the Speakership from GOP defectors.
Congressman Jack Bergman (R-Mich.)
Prior to this week, retired Marine Corps lieutenant general and four-term congressman Bergman was not widely recognized in the United States and was not considered by many as a potential candidate for speaker of the House. However, additional dark horse candidates are withdrawing from consideration in the wake of the defeats of two Speaker nominees.
According to a statement from Bergman, “the regular functioning of the federal government can’t wait on useless infighting and arguments.” “Selecting a Speaker is important right now to ensure funding for our government, especially for the military, and the security of both our homeland and our important allies during this crisis.”
“A speaker with leadership experience who can set aside ego in order to collaborate for the good of the American people is exactly what we need right now. We require a leader who understands the current state of leadership and rejects perpetual power. I’m prepared to assist. Together, we can break the impasse and win the election, according to Bergman.
Representative Austin Scott (R-Ga.)
Seventh-term Georgian representative Scott was primarily regarded as a low-key backbencher until last week, when he unexpectedly challenged Jordan for the Speakership.
Scott is now back inside.
Scott, who entered the race just hours before the election, surprised many by his strong showing in the secret ballot loss to Jordan (124–81). At the time, he told reporters, “I don’t necessarily want to be the speaker of the House, but I want a House that functions correctly, but the House is not functioning correctly right now.”
Scott stated that the GOP conference must “do the right things the right way” in his announcement on Friday.
“If we want to be the majority, we must behave like it, which calls for doing the right things in the right ways. I voted for Representative Jim Jordan to be the next Speaker of the House. Scott posted on X, “I am running for Speaker of the House again now that he has withdrawn.”
Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas Republican)
Friday afternoon, in an effort to reenter the leadership contest following a recent retirement, Sessions declared his candidacy for Speaker.
Sessions assumed the role of chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee from January 2009 until January 2013. The Republicans retained control of the House in 2012 with 63 members in 2010.
Following that, Sessions assumed the position of chairman of the House Rules Committee, a position he maintained until January 2019.
Sessions is making another effort to reclaim the top position in the conference rankings, after having been among them for over four years. This time around, Sessions is currently ranked first.
“As a conservative leader who can unite the Conference, Congressman Sessions believes he can forge a positive path,” his office stated in a statement.
Senator Dan Meuser (R-Pa.)
Meuser told reporters on Friday, following the closed-door meeting, that he is “strongly considering” running for speaker.
Following the closed-door meeting, Meuser told reporters, “I come from the business world and I plan to bring, if I run, a business perspective to things and gain consensus and do the things that are necessary in order to get 217 votes.”
Meuser made his congressional debut in 2019 subsequent to his tenure as the secretary of revenue for Pennsylvania. He is presently a member of the Committees for Financial Services and Small Business.