Who’s in the race to become US House speaker?
- Web Desk
- Oct 23, 2023
WASHINGTON, (Reuters): Nine Republicans will try to persuade the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday that they are qualified to serve as speaker as the group makes a third attempt to unify around a leader for the chamber.
Here are the current candidates seeking to take the role that has been vacant since October 3:
Emmer, the House’s No. 3 Republican and chief vote counter, has won the endorsement of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whose ouster by hardline party members set off the current crisis. A former ice hockey coach from Minnesota, Emmer said in a social media post on Saturday that he was running “to bring our conference together and get back to work.”
Donalds, a Republican from Florida and member of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, announced his candidacy in a statement late on Friday. During the votes last week on Jordan’s speaker bid, two members backed Donalds on the House floor, although he was not an announced candidate. He also netted as many as 20 votes on the House floor in January during McCarthy’s bruising attempt to secure the gavel.
AUSTIN SCOTT Scott, a Georgia lawmaker who has kept a relatively low profile in his 12 years in Congress, also launched his candidacy on Friday. He challenged Jordan for the nomination last week in a protest against the Ohio Republican but failed in a 124-81 vote.
Hern, from Oklahoma and chairman of the influential conservative Republican Study Committee, kicked off his run for speaker minutes after Jordan said he had dropped out of the race. Hern garnered as many as seven votes on the House floor during the speaker election in January.
Johnson, a conservative constitutional law attorney from Louisiana, has been a member since 2017. He said in a letter to colleagues on Saturday that he was running as a consensus candidate and billed himself as a “team player and a bridge-builder.”
Palmer, an outspoken defender of former President Donald Trump, was elected to Congress in 2014. He is the chair of the House Republican Policy Committee, whose goal is to unite congressional Republicans.
Sessions, a Texas congressman since 1997 and a former chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee declared his candidacy on Friday, saying he has the experience to unite the party. He is also a former chairman of the House Republicans’ campaign arm, heading it during the 2010 election when Republicans swept congressional seats.
Bergman, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general who has been in Congress since 2017, said on Friday his “hat is in the ring.” He is from Michigan.
Meuser, who is from Pennsylvania and has been in the House for four years, said the speaker’s office had to prioritize each member and “the unique needs of their districts” in his letter announcing his bid.