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Who are the 9 Republicans running for House speaker? Here are the candidates

Nine Republican lawmakers have declared they’re running for speaker, as the House ends its third week of legislative paralysis. The Republican conference will hear from the nine members at a candidate forum Monday evening and isexpected to vote by secret ballot on a new nominee Tuesday morning.

House Republicans have been working to elect a speaker since Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted at the start of the month. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise withdrew his candidacy on Oct. 12 after receiving the nomination on Oct. 11. Rep. Jim Jordan was dropped as the nominee Friday after he lost a third ballot for the speakership.

Who are the nine candidates for speaker of the House?

Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York said there was a noon deadline on Sunday for representatives to announce their candidacies for speaker.

The candidates who met that deadline are Reps. Jack Bergman, Byron Donalds, Tom Emmer, Kevin Hern, Mike Johnson, Dan Meuser, Gary Palmer, Austin Scott and Pete Sessions.

All of the candidates, with the exception of Reps. Emmer and Scott, voted to decertify the 2020 election in the hours after the Capitol riot. Emmer, however, supported a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas in December 2020 to overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — all states that Trump lost.

Here is a little bit more about the lawmakers running for speaker.

Jack Bergman

The Michigan representative announced his candidacy on Friday.

“My hat is in the ring, and I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not,” Bergman said. “I have no special interests to serve; I’m only in this to do what’s best for our Nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress.”

Bergman, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general and businessman, touted his lack of political experience when he first ran in 2016.

Byron Donalds

The Florida representative has been backed by fellow Florida lawmakers Reps. Cory Mills and Mario Diaz-Balart. Rep. Donalds garnered some support during a speaker election in January, which McCarthy ultimately won. Donalds announced his candidacy on Friday.

“My sole focus will be on securing our border, funding our government responsibly, advancing a conservative vision for the House of Representatives and the American people, and expanding our Republican majority,” he said.

Tom Emmer

The Minnesota representative, a close ally of McCarthy, had declined to run to replace the ousted speakerearlier this month. He announced his candidacy on Saturday.

“The American people elected us to deliver on a conservative agenda that secures our border, stops reckless spending, and holds Joe Biden accountable. We cannot afford to fail them,” he said. “I’m running for Speaker of the House to bring our conference together and get back to work.”

Emmer is the current majority whip.

Kevin Hern

The Oklahoma representative chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee. He announced his candidacy on Friday.

“We just had two Speaker Designates go down. We must unify and do it fast. I’ve spoken to every Member of the Conference over the last few weeks. We need a different type of leader who has a proven track record of success, which is why I’m running for Speaker of the House.

Hern has been a member of Congress since 2018. Prior to that, he worked as a businessman, owning two dozen McDonald’s franchise locations.

Mike Johnson

The Louisiana representative was first elected in 2016. He serves as vice chairman of the House Republican Conference. Rep. Johnson announced his candidacy on Saturday.

“At this critical juncture, our House Republican majority must provide principled leadership,” he said. “It is our duty to chart a new path, and answer with clarity and conviction who we are, why we are here, and what we are fighting for.”

Johnson is an attorney and a former radio host.

Dan Meuser

The Pennsylvania representative has served in the House since 2019. On Friday, he wrote on social media that should he decide to run, he would be focused on politics of inclusion.

“It’s time to get back to work and fight for a fiscally responsible budget, promote energy dominance, secure our border, protect our national security, weed out corruption, and earn the trust of the American people,” Meuser said.

Gary Palmer

The Alabama representative, a member of the House since 2015, currently serves as the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. He supported Jordan as the nominee for speaker.

Palmer previously worked as president of a conservative think tank in Alabama.

Austin Scott

The Georgia representative has served in the House since 2011. He announced his candidacy for speaker on Friday.

“If we are going to be the majority we need to act like the majority, and that means we have to do the right things the right way,” he said. “I supported and voted for Rep. Jim Jordan to be the Speaker of the House. Now that he has withdrawn I am running again to be the Speaker of the House.”

Scott owned and operated an insurance brokerage firm for nearly 20 years.

Pete Sessions

The Texas representative previously chaired the House Rules Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Rep. Sessions announced his candidacy on Friday.

“Congressman Sessions believes he can forge a positive path as a conservative leader who can unite the Conference,” his office said in a statement.

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