Republicans Now Have Lots of Speaker Candidates

Caucus will hear pitches on Monday, with no House vote possible before Tuesday
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2023 4:55 PM CDT
Plenty of Republicans Want to Be Speaker
Rep. Tom Emmer, center, talks with Rep. Patrick McHenry, left, and David Joyce on Friday as the House vote on speaker candidates begins at the Capitol.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It didn't take long on Friday after House Republicans rescinded their speaker nomination of Rep. Jim Jordan for volunteers for the job to step forward. Before the day was out, 10 members had said they're in or seriously considering a run, Axios reports. More than one of them said their reason for running basically is "somebody has to do it." The next step scheduled is a candidate forum at 6:30pm Monday, and the soonest the full House could vote on a speaker is Tuesday. The last time the House considered actual legislation was Sept. 30, per the Washington Post. The possibilities so far are:

  • Tom Emmer, Minnesota: As majority whip, he holds the third-highest GOP post in the House. And he has the endorsement of the most recently ousted GOP speaker, per USA Today. Emmer "understands what it takes to win and keep a majority," Kevin McCarthy said.
  • Mike Johnson, Louisiana: The vice chair of the House Republican Conference is spending his weekend on the phone trying to line up support, his spokesperson said. In a letter to GOP colleagues, Johnson said he'd bring the same organizational skills and "team emphasis" to the speakership that he's employed in his current post, per
  • Kevin Hern, Oklahoma: He leads the Republican Study Committee, the largest House GOP caucus, with about 170 GOP members. "We need a different type of leader who has a proven track record of success," Hern said in a statement. He dropped the idea of running for speaker early this month after calling every House Republican to assess support, per USA Today.
  • Byron Donalds, Florida: He brings some built-in support as a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Donalds, who announced his candidacy on X, also ran for the job in January before losing to McCarthy, per the Naples Daily News.
  • Jack Bergman, Michigan: His announcement came instantly. "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.
  • Jodey Arrington, Texas: The House Budget Committee chair said he's seriously considering running. "Why would somebody run when we've witnessed this seemingly tragic process play out?" he wondered, per the Texas Tribune. "But, you know, somebody's got to run."
  • Pete Sessions, Texas: The past chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and House Rules Committee bases his sales pitch on his performance in those posts, per the Texas Tribune. Sessions' office issued a statement saying he "believes he can forge a positive path" and unite the conference.
  • Austin Scott, Georgia: He made his mark by challenging Jordan with a protest candidacy in the conference. Although he lost to Jordan 124-81, Scott said, "There's a lot of people that appreciated what we did."
  • Roger Williams, Texas: The chair of the House Small Business Committee said he's still thinking about running. The Texas Tribune reports he's a well-liked lawmaker. "We need a speaker for crying out loud," Williams said. "We've got so much happening in the world."
  • Dan Meuser, Pennsylvania: His candidacy depends what happens in the caucus, Meuser told National Review Online last week. "I'm considering it because I'm not gonna let this kindergarten continue," he said.
(More House Republicans stories.)

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