Republican Rep. Bill Flores of Texas has thrown his hat into the ring for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Andre Castro, Flores’ communications director, told The Blaze
on Monday that Flotres has declared for the job, but added that the lawmaker will “step aside and support" Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan if he should choose to run.
Last week, Flores said House Republicans had to find a leader who can unite its quarrelling moderates and right-wingers now that Speaker John Boehner is retiring and the presumed front-runner for the post, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, has withdrawn.
"This is an opportunity for the conference to look across the ... members that we have and say who is the unifying influential leader that can cast that vision and communicate that vision and help all of us execute that vision," Flores told reporters on Thursday.
Flores, a businessman who is serving his third term in Congress, is chairman of the largest conservative caucus in the House of Representatives, the Republican Study Committee (RSC). He won that position last year, defeating two Tea Party favorites, Representatives Louie Gohmert and Mick Mulvaney.
The RSC has over 170 members in the House, which is more than two-thirds of the Republican membership.
Fellow lawmakers say Ryan, chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee and a former vice presidential candidate, is considering a run for speaker during the current weeklong congressional recess. Ryan has said repeatedly he is not seeking the speaker's job, but many lawmakers and even 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney have urged him to run.
McCarthy pulled out of the speaker's race last week after facing skepticism from conservative lawmakers who viewed him as too willing to compromise with President Barack Obama.
Boehner, who fought a series of battles with Republican conservatives for much of his speakership, had planned to retire Oct. 30, but said last week he will stay until a new speaker is elected.
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