The race for speaker just got a whole lot bigger.
A whopping nine Republicans have thrown their names in the ring after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) failed for a third time to get enough votes to take the gavel. He has since dropped out of the race after losing the conference nomination.
The most notable candidates include GOP Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the latter of whom is backed by ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Both men have been praised by former President Donald Trump. Monday, Emmer shared a video on X of Trump making complimentary remarks about the would-be speaker.
“Thank you, Mr. President. If my colleagues elect me Speaker of the House, I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship,” Emmer wrote.
Thank you, Mr. President.
If my colleagues elect me Speaker of the House, I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship.
— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) October 23, 2023
Johnson might lack the McCarthy backing, but he is incredibly popular in staunchly conservative circles. Johnson is an open Christian and a longtime practitioner of conservative Protestantism. He was once employed by a Christian college, now known as Louisiana Christian University, in Central Louisiana.
On Saturday, in the letter by which he announced his candidacy, Johnson landed heavily on his convictions.
“I believe that each one of us was specifically born for this moment and called and equipped by our Creator for the battle ahead,” Johnson wrote.
I’m in! pic.twitter.com/VSn14QkHEG
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) October 21, 2023
The conference is holding a candidate forum this evening to see if there’s someone the party can rally around. Republicans’ frustrations are growing as the House enters a third week without a speaker.
Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, calls the whole situation deeply embarrassing