As the House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise, withdrew his candidacy for the House Speaker position, it is widely anticipated that Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio will step forward as a candidate. Sources indicate that Jordan is likely to face some resistance from moderates in the Republican Party. The existence of a substantial number of “never Jims” in the GOP conference has raised concerns about the ease with which Jordan can secure the speakership. This situation resembles the prior struggle faced by Rep. Steve Scalise.
If Rep. Jordan cannot secure the required 217 votes for his nomination, the contest for the House Speaker position will become an open race. Rep. Kevin Hern from Oklahoma, the chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee, is set to vote for Jordan initially but might enter the race if Jordan fails to secure the nomination. Additionally, there are indications that Majority Whip Tom Emmer from Minnesota might join the race for the speakership and is actively working to garner support.
It’s noteworthy that former President Donald Trump reportedly opposes Emmer’s candidacy, favoring Hern instead. Emmer’s previous role as head of the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2022 elections, which yielded disappointing results, is a point of contention. Some Republicans argue that the party’s victory in 2022 was due to unexpected wins in New York districts that Emmer had not focused on.
Despite the contest between Emmer and Hern, if the House Republicans fail to reach a consensus on their candidate for the House Speaker, there are likely to be additional Republicans putting their names forward. The chosen Speaker candidate will need to secure the support of at least 217 fellow Republicans, a task that neither Scalise nor the dethroned Speaker Kevin McCarthy were able to accomplish.