OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
A trio of new Republican names for Speaker of the House after Judiciary Committee head Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) failed to win the requisite 217 votes after three ballots, the final one coming on Friday.
After the GOP Conference voted behind closed doors to ditch Jordan, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, and Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma have emerged as the top three choices, according to reports, though other names have been floated as well, according to The Hill.
The outlet added:
Emmer is making calls for a run for Speaker, a source familiar tells The Hill — and is seeking the position.
He will likely emerge as a frontrunner once his hat is officially in the ring.
The majority whip — who previously served as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) — would be the highest-ranking lawmaker to jockey for the position. He has endured leadership races in the past, a fact that could help him prevail this time around.
Others, including retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) are also making a bid.
“The regular functioning of the federal government can’t wait on useless infighting and arguments,” Bergman said in a statement, per The Hill. “What matters right now is choosing a Speaker in order to make sure that our government—and particularly our military—is funded, and that both our homeland and our critical allies are secure in this time of crisis.”
“What we need right now is a Speaker who has experience leading and can put ego aside to work together for the American people. We need a leader who shuns permanent power and recognizes the current crisis of leadership. I’m ready to serve. Together we can end the deadlock, and win the vote,” Bergman said.
But without question, the emerging favorite among the GOP base is Donalds after he was backed by former President Donald Trump.
Trump for President.@ByronDonalds for Speaker.
Save America. pic.twitter.com/f13oIpLz4s
— Alex Bruesewitz 🇺🇸 (@alexbruesewitz) October 20, 2023
“I am running to become the next Speaker of the House,” Donalds noted on the X platform on Saturday. He laid out his priorities: Securing U.S. borders; funding government “responsibly;” advancing a conservative agenda; and expanding “our Republican majority.”
I am running to become the next Speaker of the House.
We need to:
🇺🇸 Secure our border
🇺🇸 Fund our government responsibly
🇺🇸 Advance our conservative agenda
🇺🇸 Expand our Republican majority
Let’s get to work! pic.twitter.com/a7jmeDYzvV
— Byron Donalds (@ByronDonalds) October 21, 2023
“He had received votes for the Speakership from GOP defectors both during McCarthy’s 15-ballot Speaker race in January and during Jordan’s three ballots this week,” The Hill noted.
🚨 BREAKING: Florida Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL) has announced his intentions of running for Speaker of the House.
DO YOU SUPPORT THIS? pic.twitter.com/yFIy4X6kUK
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) October 20, 2023
🚨 Congressman @ByronDonalds, a man that has frequently been mentioned as a possible Trump VP, has CONFIRMED that he is now running for Speaker of the House
Would you get behind Byron? pic.twitter.com/KbJF9jeas9
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) October 20, 2023
Several Republicans have already lined up behind Donalds, who would become a historic figure as the first black Speaker should he win.
In January, during the chaotic 15-round Speaker vote that finally resulted in a victory for Kevin McCarthy of California, Rep. Matt Gaetz — who led a handful of GOP malcontents earlier this month to vacate McCarthy’s chair — cast a ballot for Donalds to take the gavel.
At the time, former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy sounded off on a group of Republicans who were still holding out on voting for McCarthy to become Speaker.
“Look, I got bad news for Kevin’s opponents. He’s got a lot more than 20 friends. So, there are more than 20 people that are going to say, you know what? We are not ever voting for anyone else. Bret, you got a guy who’s got 200 votes and the next leading vote-getter for very good reasons doesn’t want to be the speaker of the House,” Gowdy said during an interview on Fox News.
“And, yet, this kamikaze wing within the Republican Party knows better than 85 percent of the rest of the conference. Jimmy doesn’t want the job for a very good reason. I don’t know what happens. I will say this. They didn’t want a secure border. That is not what the negotiation was over, Bret. It was — there are a handful of people who want gavels and want things that they can’t get based on merit, and they can’t get it based on intelligence, but they want it given to them by the speaker of the House, and Kevin said no,” Gowdy added.