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Tags: steve scalise | jim jordan | kevin hern | house | speaker | donald trump | endorsement
CORRESPONDENT

Speaker Race: Scalise Questioned, Jordan Rising, Hern in Play

John Gizzi By Friday, 06 October 2023 10:25 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

As of Friday morning, few on Capitol Hill have disputed that House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., was an early front-runner in the race to become House speaker.

With five days to go before Tuesday's House GOP conference meeting, Scalise, 58, enters the race with strong leadership support — Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., and Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., are behind him.

The Louisianan is expected to unveil on Monday a list of other key endorsements from colleagues who will support him over House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Republican Study Committee Chair Kevin Hern, R-Okla.

The big monkey wrench in Scalise's effort to grab the brass ring is now Donald Trump.

Trump has strongly endorsed Jim Jordan, a long-time friend of the former President.

As source close to Trump tells me he likes both Scalise and Hern, seeing them both as allies, as well.

He strongly opposes Emmer taking the speakership and let his view on him to be known early. Emmer has criticized Trump over Jan. 6.

Trump has echoed the concerns of many who are concerned by Scalise's health.

A victim of serious gunshot wounds, Scalise is currently battling cancer and is being treated with chemotherapy.

Scalise wears a facial mask in meetings and keeps distance from staffers due to immunity concerns. He occasionally uses crutches to walk.

"I like Steve, but I'm a bit concerned about his health," one lawmaker told Newsmax on Thursday, "This is almost surely going to restrict him in terms of making campaign appearances and raising money."

Can Scalise continue the type of grueling fundraising events former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., scheduled across the nation?

"There was no one like Kevin," House Rules Committee Chair Tom Cole, R-Okla., himself a past NRCC chair, said.

"He raised twice as much for the NRCC in the last cycle than all other Republican members combined," Cole said.

Meanwhile, Jordan has risen with Trump's endorsement.

While the MAGA members and Freedom Caucus will get behind Jordan, there are as many as 40 congressmen who say they believe he's too sensational to be speaker.

One member described him as a "headline grabber" who won't create the consensus the GOP House Republicans would demand.

In this battle, Hern continues to be play the role of dark horse.

He's strongly conservative (he heads the Republican Study Committee with over 150 members), is a former no-nonsense businessman, and is liked by Trump but can work with House moderates.

One member told me if there are six or seven ballots and neither Scalise nor Jordan wins, the conference will turn to Hern.

"He'll be the only guy left on the battlefield not wounded," the member said.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
As of Friday morning, few on Capitol Hill have disputed that House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., was an early front-runner in the race to become House speaker.
steve scalise, jim jordan, kevin hern, house, speaker, donald trump, endorsement, gop
449
2023-25-06
Friday, 06 October 2023 10:25 AM
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