House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has announced his intention to run for speaker, making him the first GOP lawmaker to officially declare his candidacy for the position. The announcement comes after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was ousted by a small group of Republicans on Tuesday.
Jordan, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, is known for his fiercely conservative views and has been a vocal critic of President Biden’s policies. As the leader of one of three House committees investigating the Biden family, he has been at the forefront of Republican efforts to hold the administration accountable.
Upon hearing the news of Jordan’s candidacy, a faction of Republicans immediately pledged their support, including Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who is a close ally of McCarthy. “We face difficult challenges, but the choice is clear: We need Jim Jordan as our next speaker of the House,” Issa said in a statement.
Jordan’s candidacy may face some resistance from more moderate Republicans, but he has already garnered the support of Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who was instrumental in McCarthy’s ousting. Gaetz, a staunch Trump supporter, tweeted in response to a supporter that Jordan would be “great” for the position.
Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., has also thrown his hat in the ring for the speakership. In a letter to his colleagues, Scalise referenced the 2017 congressional baseball game practice shooting, where he was critically wounded, and praised his fellow Republicans for helping him through it. He also highlighted his experience and leadership skills, stating that he is “prepared for the battles that lie ahead.”
Scalise has been McCarthy’s loyal right-hand man, but their partnership has had its share of conflicts, such as when conservative hardliners derailed legislative proceedings on the House floor in June. Despite this, Scalise has already gained support from key members of the Republican party, including House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn.
In addition to Scalise, Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., and Rep. Mike Carey, R-Ohio, are all potential contenders for the speakership. However, it remains to be seen if they will be able to gather enough support to challenge Jordan and Scalise.
The Republican party appears to be facing a crossroads as they try to regroup and solidify their leadership in the House. With the 2022 midterm elections just around the corner, the party needs to present a united front and rally behind a strong leader who can guide them to victory.
The House GOP is set to hold a candidate forum next Tuesday and elect the new speaker the following day. It will be interesting to see how the race plays out and who will ultimately come out on top. One thing is for sure, the next speaker of the House will have their work cut out for them as they navigate the challenges facing the country and lead their party into the future.