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Tags: gop | house | speaker | steve scalise | jim jordan | kevin hern | ballots

Speaker Race Is Death Struggle for Scalise, Jordan; Hern Out but Not Gone

By    |   Sunday, 08 October 2023 10:55 PM EDT

The contest to succeed dethroned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy grew smaller over the weekend.

Or so it seems.

And one thing I have discovered in Washington, nothing is as it seems.

House Republican Study Committee Chair Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, a favorite among conservatives, told Newsmax on Saturday he would not be a candidate because a three-candidate race would create "even more division and [make] it harder to elect a speaker."

So he pulled himself out of contention — at least for the initial ballots.

A source close to Hern, 61, said he already has asked members to consider him if both Reps. Steve Scalise, R-La., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, fail to muster the near consensus they need to win.

On Tuesday House Republicans will meet in conference behind closed doors.

With most members still publicly undecided between the two, Scalise, 58, is considered the favorite — in part because he is No. 2 in the House GOP leadership hierarchy.

He is also well-liked by fellow Republican lawmakers.

But he has serious opponents. Jordan, 59, for one.

And Jordan has the backing of former President Donald Trump.

He also has the backing of McCarthy and most of his staff.

Scalise began on Friday to release major endorsements from colleagues, notably the well-respected House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers, R-Ala.

Also weighing in for Scalise were Republican Reps. John James of Michigan, Ken Calvert of California, and Tony Gonzalez of Texas — all supporters of McCarthy.

Jordan, in turn, unveiled endorsements from several well-known House members on the GOP right: Reps. and U.S. Senate hopefuls Jim Banks of Indiana and Alex Mooney of West Virginia; and stalwart conservative Reps. Mark Green of Tennessee, Mary Miller of Illinois, and Ralph Norman of South Carolina.

In a surprise move on Saturday, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., widely considered a more moderate Republican than Jordan, gave her backing to the Ohioan.

Trump himself is widely expected to make a stop in Washington, D.C., on the day Republicans hold their closed-door session to choose a candidate for speaker and possibly lobby undecided members on Jordan's behalf.

But many members, even those who love Trump, tell me the move could hurt Jordan.

"There are more than 40 House Republicans that don't like the former president, and they'll be even less likely to join the Jordan train," a member from Texas told me.

So the issue is where we started: Both Scalise and Jordan need almost near consensus to become the speaker.

With the current showdown for Tuesday, both appear heading to a death struggle.

After years of power, both Scalise and Jordan have made many friends, but also many enemies.

Members are predicting multiple ballots will find no resolution and no winner.

And that's when the conference will turn to other possible consensus candidates, like Hern or Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the speaker pro tempore.

Stay tuned, the show will begin soon.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The contest to succeed dethroned House Speaker Kevin McCarthy grew smaller over the weekend.
gop, house, speaker, steve scalise, jim jordan, kevin hern, ballots, candidates
Sunday, 08 October 2023 10:55 PM
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