A New Field of Would-Be US House Speakers Takes Shape After Jim Jordan Fails

House Republicans have dispensed with Jim Jordan as their nominee for the US speakership and now several more representatives are preparing to enter the fray.

(Bloomberg) — House Republicans have dispensed with Jim Jordan as their nominee for the US speakership and now several more representatives are preparing to enter the fray.

The new field began to take shape minutes after the party voted by secret ballot to rescind the nomination of Jordan, who had been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, to the leadership post. 

Republicans plan to hold another candidate forum on Monday, allowing candidates time over the weekend to mount their campaigns, interim Speaker Patrick McHenry said. Another nomination vote could be held as early as Tuesday. Candidates have until midday Sunday to state their intentions.

Here are some of the lawmakers expected to try to claim the nomination: 

Tom Emmer 

Emmer, a Minnesota Republican and the party’s third-ranking official, has begun making calls regarding a speaker bid, according to person familiar with the calls.

He has had a tense relations with some Trump supporters, in part because he voted to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. There also had been some criticism of him for leading the House GOP political arm in 2022, when the party picked up the majority, but a narrower one than anticipated. As whip, he has the often thankless task of counting votes and building support among feuding colleagues.

On Friday afternoon, he received the endorsement of Representative Kevin McCarthy, whose ouster as speaker on Oct. 3, paralyzed the House. 

“He is the right person for the job,” McCarthy said. “He can unite the conference. He understands the dynamics of the conference. He also understands what it takes to win and keep a majority.”

Trump opposes Emmer’s candidacy, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Kevin Hern

The Oklahoma Republican has been waiting in the wings since former speaker Kevin McCarthy’s Oct. 3 ouster. He said Friday that he would seek the speakership. 

Hern, who chairs the 176-member Republican Study Committee, could win over some moderates as a more centrist alternative to Jordan, whose strong-arm tactics backfired with moderates and more traditional Republicans. 

Byron Donalds

The Florida Republican is a Trump acolyte and member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus who has served as a surrogate for the former president on the campaign trail. He has described himself as a “Trump supporting, liberty loving, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment Black man,” and a person who “will bring the fight to the swamp creatures.”

Donalds forged a plan to keep the government open while cutting domestic spending, which more conservative members rejected. A spokesman confirmed Friday he is running for speaker.

Jodey Arrington

The House Budget chairman says he’s seriously considering a run next week. Even before Jordan’s nomination was pulled, Arrington already was calling colleagues to gauge his support in the fractious party, a Republican official said. 

Arrington, who first came to Congress in 2017, has advocated deep cuts in federal spending to bring down budget deficits by $16 trillion over 10 years. Moderates have opposed his proposal and may be reluctant to back him as speaker.

Pete Sessions

Sessions lost his Dallas-based seat to a Democrat in 2018 and mounted a comeback in 2020 by shifting to an open seat in a district that includes his hometown of Waco. 

He is a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee who has previously chaired the powerful Rules Committee and led the House GOP’s campaign arm.


Mike Johnson

Johnson, a former RSC chairman and a current member of the House GOP leadership team, is making calls to lawmakers about a potential run, a spokeswoman confirmed. 

The Louisiana Republican is a stalwart social conservative and member of Republican leadership team with a reputation for collegiality. He authored a “Commitment to Civility” pledge when he arrived at the Capitol in 2017 that was also signed by other incoming lawmakers.

Austin Scott

The Georgia Republican surprised lawmakers last week when he challenged Jordan for the nomination, ultimately receiving 81 votes. 

Scott, who served as class president for the Tea Party wave of Republicans elected in 2010, has moderated his approach during his career. He defied Trump when he voted to certify the results of the 2020 election. Scott challenged Jordan for the Republican nomination and said immediately after Jordan’s nomination was rescinded that he would run again.

Dan Meuser

The Pennsylvania Republican, who first came to Congress in 2019, told reporters he’s weighing a run. 

Meuser has styled himself as a small-government lawmaker with the interest of taxpayers first and foremost, and he’s used his experience overseeing Pennsylvania’s tax system to push for reduced spending.

Jack Bergman 

The Michigan Republican is a former Marine Corps three-star general and the highest-ranking combat veteran ever elected to Congress. Bergman, who first came to Congress in 2017, announced his interest in the speaker’s job earlier this week.


–With assistance from Mackenzie Hawkins, Jonathan Tamari and Maeve Sheehey.

(Updates with deadline for candidates, in third paragraph.)

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