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Tags: hern | speaker | jordan | scalise

Hern Opts Out of Speaker Bid, Prioritizing Party Unity

By    |   Saturday, 07 October 2023 12:57 PM EDT

Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., announced on Saturday that he will not seek the speaker of the House position.

The chair of the Republican Study Committee had previously alluded to a potential bid for the speaker position but ultimately opted not to pursue it, saying a three-person contest for the seat "will create even more division and make it harder to elect a speaker."

In a statement, he conveyed that after consulting all 221 members of the House Republican Conference, their resounding message was the necessity of unity over the pursuit of new leadership, reported The Hill.

"I called, texted, or met in person with all 221 members of the House Republican Conference, asking each member what they want to see in the next speaker and how we can move forward as a majority," he said.

"The overwhelming response I heard from you is that we must unify and come out of this situation stronger as a majority. While many of you have emphasized the necessity for new blood in our leadership, the need for unity comes first and foremost."

Hern's choice narrows the speaker race to a competition between Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who has garnered support from the party's conservative faction and those seeking a fresh leadership perspective, and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., who relies on his leadership background and is aligned with former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif..

"Whatever happens next, our conference must commit to stay in the room, turn off our phones, and work together until we have a candidate that can earn 217 Republican votes," Hern said. "When we leave that room and head to the House floor, we must show the world that we are united in support behind our speaker and ready to do the work we were elected to do."

The speaker race commenced following the unprecedented removal of McCarthy from the speaker position on Tuesday, marking him as the sole speaker in history to be ousted from the role through a vote of his colleagues.

Hern refrained from endorsing a speaker candidate in his announcement, expressing his desire for both individuals to compete and secure the caucus's backing. The selection of a Republican speaker candidate is anticipated during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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Politics
Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., announced on Saturday that he will not seek the speaker of the House position.
hern, speaker, jordan, scalise
373
2023-57-07
Saturday, 07 October 2023 12:57 PM
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