New House speaker candidates emerge

October 23, 2023
Robert Ayers

At least nine House Republicans are looking to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

According to Fox News, the candidates include U.S. Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Austin Scott (R-GA), Dan Meuser (R-PA), Gary Palmer (R-AL), and Pete Sessions (R-TX).

The former House speaker, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has endorsed Emmer for the position.

This is of particular interest considering reports that former President Donald Trump opposes an Emmer speakership.


This all follows the recent ouster of McCarthy from his speakership post. Eight House Republicans teamed up with House Democrats to make this happen. Ever since then - for several weeks now - House Republicans have been looking for a new speaker.

With their majority, House Republicans can elect the speaker of their choice. But, thus far, they have refused to unite behind a candidate.

First, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was nominated for the position. But, he withdrew after it became clear that he did not have the votes to win the speakership.

Then, House Republicans moved on to U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who appeared to have a much better chance at becoming speaker for at least two reasons: his popularity in Congress and his endorsement by Trump.

Jordan, however, failed to reach the 217 vote threshold in three floor votes last week, and, subsequently, House Republicans decided to remove his speakership nomination.

So, it is back to square one.

The fact that no less than nine candidates are running suggests that House Republicans are as divided as ever.

It is unclear, out of this pack of nine, who is going to get the party's nomination. Trump has yet to endorse anyone, and a clear favorite has not emerged. As stated, the big endorsement thus far has been McCarthy's endorsement of Emmer.

But, if the reports are true that Trump opposes an Emmer speakership, then it is hard to believe that Emmer has any real chance. Several candidates in the running are pro-Trump, including, perhaps most notably, Donalds and Johnson.

There is no real telling how this is all going to play out. Based on what we have seen so far, it feels as though we are still a long way away from selecting the next speaker.

Fox reports, "Republicans are expected to meet behind closed doors on Monday evening for a candidate forum before a conference-wide election via secret anonymous ballot on Tuesday."

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