AP and Reuters

Who“s in, who“s out of race to become US House of Representatives speaker?


The top job in the U.S. House of Representatives remained vacant on Saturday, after hardline Republican Jim Jordan failed in his third bid for the gavel and dropped out of the race.

Here are the seven lawmakers who have announced they are running to be speaker of the chamber, which has been without a leader since Oct. 3, as well as two potential candidates:


Representative Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus in Congress, kicked off his run for speaker minutes after Jordan said he had dropped out of the race, although the Oklahoma lawmaker did not win any votes in Friday’s contest.


Representative Austin Scott, a Georgia lawmaker who has kept a relatively low profile in his 12 years in Congress, also launched his candidacy on Friday, after he challenged Jordan for the nomination last week and failed. He did not receive any votes on Friday.


Representative Pete Sessions, a Texas congressman since 1997 who chairs the House Rules Committee, declared his candidacy on Friday, saying he has the experience to unite the party.


Representative Jack Bergman of Michigan, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general who has been in congress since 2017, said on Friday his “hat is in the ring.”


Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the House’s No. 3 Republican and chief vote counter, received only one vote on Friday but won ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s endorsement. The former ice hockey coach said in a social media post on Saturday that he was running “to bring our conference together and get back to work”.


Representative Byron Donalds, a Black Republican from Florida and member of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, was the choice for two from his party on Friday. He announced his candidacy in a statement late on Friday. Last month, a source close to Donalds told Fox News that he was considering whether to run for Florida governor in 2026.


Representative Mike Johnson from Louisiana, a socially and fiscally conservative constitutional law attorney who has been a member since 2017, said in a letter to colleagues on Saturday that he was running as a consensus candidate and billed himself as a “team player and a bridge-builder”.


Democrats have voted unanimously for their leader, Hakeem Jeffries, though, as the minority party in a chamber controlled 221-212 by Republicans, they do not have enough votes to elect him speaker.

Powerful Rules Committee chair Tom Cole, who has represented Oklahoma since 2003 as one of only five Native Americans in Congress, could gain support from Democrats if nominated, although he has repeatedly tamped down talk of putting his name forward. After receiving one vote on Tuesday, no votes were cast for him on Friday.


Representative Jodey Arrington, a Texas Republican who is chair of the House Budget Committee, told reporters on Friday he would make a decision on whether to seek the speaker’s job by Sunday ahead of a noon EST (1600 GMT) deadline for declarations.

The Louisiana lawmaker and No. 2 House Republican, who was widely seen as McCarthy’s heir apparent, received eight votes on Friday, the most of anyone other than Jordan, after being nominated as speaker last week and withdrawing after being unable to unify Republicans. Wounded during a baseball practice in 2017 and being treated for since August for multiple myeloma, Scalise had faced questions about his health.


Representative Jim Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee and a driving force in the impeachment investigation of Democratic President Joe Biden, lost his third bid for the job after winning just 194 votes, well short of the 214 he needed, when 25 Republicans voted against him. After the vote, the Ohio lawmaker and Trump ally said the party should unite behind a new nominee and he would support whoever is chosen.

Representative and former speaker Kevin McCarthy has sent conflicting signals on whether he would seek the job again. The California lawmaker netted two votes during Friday’s vote.


Republican Representative Patrick McHenry, acting speaker since Kevin McCarthy was ousted Oct. 3, received six votes for speaker during Friday’s contest but has not entered the race, though some Republicans have suggested the North Carolina lawmaker could stay on and even some Democrats appeared open to him keeping the gavel. Asked on Friday if he was interested in the job, he said, “I’m not seeking it.”

Related Galleries:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) talks to reporters after dropping out of the race for Speaker of the House after he lost a secret ballot vote by members of the Republican conference on whether he should drop out of the race at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 20, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK) speaks to the media ahead of a House Republican Conference meeting as the Republicans continue to work to choose a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 16, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

U.S. Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who finished second in voting behind Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in a bid to become the next Speaker of the House, talks with reporters following a House Republican Conference meeting in an effort to pick a new leader for the U.S. House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 13, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
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