9 Candidates Set To Face Off In GOP’s House Speaker Forum
Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., departs a House Republican Conference meeting after members voted for Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to step down as a candidate for Speaker of the House, on Capitol Hill on Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

House Republicans will hear from nine candidates in the next forum to help their party decide on a new nominee for speaker, House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) announced on Sunday.

In a post to X shortly after the noon deadline, Stefanik said the candidates included Reps. Jack Bergman (MI), Byron Donalds (FL), Tom Emmer (MN), Kevin Hern (OK), Mike Johnson (LA), Dan Meuser (PA), Gary Palmer (AL), Austin Scott (GA), and Pete Sessions (TX).

The forum is set to take place Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET, following an initial closed-door forum the GOP held after the House voted to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker earlier this month. That earlier forum featured a face-off between House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), who had the backing of former President Donald Trump.

Scalise won the nomination but ended his candidacy before a House floor vote could happen as he faced opposition from a small group of Republicans. Jordan then won the nomination in a second ballot, prevailing over a challenge by Scott. However, the GOP conference elected to drop Jordan as its nominee after he failed to win speakership across three House floor votes last week.

Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) said House Republicans would hold their next internal election on Tuesday at 9 a.m. House floor votes on the speakership could happen as early as later that day. A simple majority is needed for victory.


Democrats nominated Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) for speaker and voted in unison for him in all the speakership votes this month. Meanwhile, Republicans have rejected a plan to give McHenry broader authority to get legislative business done until a full-time speaker is chosen.

Most Republican candidates mentioned in Stefanik’s list on Sunday had announced their intention to run for speaker or said they were strongly considering it. Palmer, however, seemed to be a surprise entry. Another member who had been talked about as a potential contender who did not enter the contest was House Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX).

Emmer is the majority whip, tasked with rallying votes for the party’s legislative priorities. He has the support of McCarthy, who said Emmer “knows how to do the job.” Palmer is another top party member, serving as Republican Policy Committee chairman.

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