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Multiple Lawmakers Announce Bids for House Speaker

By    |   Friday, 20 October 2023 08:14 PM EDT

Five Republican lawmakers announced bids for House speaker on Friday in the hours after Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suffered a third and fatal failed vote; and a sixth is expected to announce.

Republican Reps. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, Jack Bergman of Michigan, Byron Donalds of Florida, Austin Scott of Georgia, and Pete Sessions of Texas confirmed they are seeking the gavel. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., is presumed to be running after receiving a key endorsement from former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

The number of candidates could rise, with another five mulling or "strongly considering" bids to replace McCarthy, who was ousted Oct. 3. Since then, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., first withdrew before a floor vote was even called and then Jordan suffered through three failed floor votes. 

Republicans have until noon EDT on Sunday to enter the race before Monday's candidate forum.

A brief look at the speaker candidates:

Emmer, Majority Whip

Emmer earned McCarthy's endorsement almost immediately after Jordan was removed Friday; McCarthy did not endorse either Jordan or Scalise.  

"He is the right person for the job. He can unite the conference," McCarthy said, though Emmer hasn't yet made an official announcement. "He understands the dynamics of the conference. He also understands what it takes to win and keep a majority."

Emmer would be considered the front-runner.

CNN reported that Emmer plans to run an "entirely positive" campaign and "won't attack his opponents." MPR also reported that Emmer will run. 

Emmer was floated as a possible successor after McCarthy's ouster. Emmer, a strong McCarthy ally, said he would run for speaker only if Scalise chose not to, but he did.

Hern, Republican Study Chair

Hern leads the largest bloc of House conservatives.

"We need a different type of leader who has a proven track record of success, which is why I'm running for Speaker of the House," Hern, a member of the Ways and Means Committee, posted on X.

Hern, who has represented Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District since 2018, mulled a bid after McCarthy's ouster but bowed out as Scalise and Jordan emerged.

Bergman, House Budget Committee

The fourth-term lawmaker is a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general and the highest-ranking combat veteran ever elected to Congress.

He is not well-known nationally, and he doesn't think it matters.

"My hat is in the ring, and I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not. I have no special interests to serve; I'm only in this to do what's best for our nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress," Bergman said in a statement. "We need a leader who shuns permanent power and recognizes the current crisis of leadership. I'm ready to serve. Together we can end the deadlock and win the vote."

Donalds, Oversight and Financial Services Committees

A spokesperson for Donalds, a member of the Freedom Caucus, told multiple media outlets that Donalds will run for speaker. Donalds formalized it with an official annoucement hours later.

Just 1 of 4 Black Republicans in the House, Donalds has carved out a name for himself as part of the Oversight Committee, taking a key role in the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

Donalds received votes for speaker in January, during McCarthy's marathon 15-round election, and again this week during Jordan's failed votes.

Scott, Freedom Caucus

Scott stepped up to challenge Jordan last before dropping out after losing 124-81 in a secret ballot vote.

"If we are going to be the majority we need to act like the majority, and that means we have to do the right things the right way. I supported and voted for Rep. Jim Jordan to be the Speaker of the House. Now that he has withdrawn I am running again to be the Speaker of the House," Scott posted on X.


He is a former chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (2009-13) and House Rules Committee (2013-19).

"Congressman Sessions believes he can forge a positive path as a conservative leader who can unite the Conference. During his congressional career, he has played a vital role in the Republican Party, in Texas and nationally, including a decade in Party leadership," read a press release Sessions posted on X.

Five lawmakers, at this point, are mulling runs.  

GOP Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson, R-La., is making calls. WGNO reported that he could announce a run Sunday.

Budget Committee Chair Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, told reporters he is "seriously considering” a bid. Arrington was on the phone with his wife about the prospects while talking to reporters.

Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, is also considering a bid.

Both Arrington and Williams are taking the weekend to decide, they said. 

"It shouldn't be presumed that anybody in Texas is going to run at this point until we talk as a family of Texans," Arrington said.

Homeland Security Chair Mark Green, R-Tenn., told CNN that he is weighing a run and will make a decision Friday night.

Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., also told reporters that he is "strongly considering" a run.

"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 told reporters.

Mark Swanson

Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Five Republican lawmakers announced bids for House speaker on Friday in the hours after Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suffered a third and fatal failed vote; and a sixth lawmaker is expected to announce.
house, lawmakers, republican, speaker
Friday, 20 October 2023 08:14 PM
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