It was only a matter of time, but it is finally official: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wi.) has officially announced that he will seek to become the next Speaker of the House.
Ryan made the announcement through a letter to his House colleagues.
"We have an opportunity to turn the page, to start with a clean slate, and to rebuild what has been lost," Ryan wrote. "We can make the House a more open and inclusive body–one where every member can contribute to the legislative process. We can rally House Republicans around a bold agenda that will tackle the country's problems head on. And we can show the country what a commonsense conservative agenda looks like."
"That's why I'm actually excited for the moment," he continued. "I've spoken with many of you over the past few days, and I can sense the hunger in our conference to work. I know many of you want to show the country how to fix our tax code, how to rebuild our military, how to strengthen the safety net, and how to lift people out of poverty. I know you're willing to work hard and get it done, and I think this moment is ripe for real reform."
The full letter can be seen here.
Ryan said he would only seek the speaker role if he had unanimity behind him and had a list of demands, with the most controversial being the dismissal of the Jefferson Rule. Ryan's biggest hurdle was obtaining the endorsement of the House Freedom Caucus. While they did not endorse him, a supermajority has pledged to support Ryan, and that was enough for him.
"I know you're willing to work hard and get it done, and I think this moment is ripe for real reform."
Ryan has been endorsed for speaker by news outlets like National Review and the Washington Examiner, and has even been endorsed by Rep. Luis Guitierrez (D-Il.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nv.). Reid's endorsement made radio giant Rush Limbaugh "nervous" about Ryan. Some conservatives like Ann Coulter are opposed to Ryan.
The nominating conference for speaker will be on Oct. 28, and the election will be the next day.