Jim Jordan Bleeds More Support In Third Speaker Ballot Defeat
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks to members of the press at the U.S. Capitol October 19, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The third time was not the charm for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as he lost another House floor vote for speaker on Friday with the least amount of support he’s received so far.

A total of 194 lawmakers voted for Jordan, short of the 215 votes needed to win the majority. Jordan received 200 votes and then 199 votes in the first two ballots this week, but a handful of lawmakers missed the third vote, lowering the threshold for victory. Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who is the nominee for the Democrats, got 210 votes on Friday after getting 212 votes in the first two ballots.

During a press conference on Friday morning, Jordan indicated he would stay in the race for the long haul. “Our plan this weekend is to get a speaker elected to the House of Representatives as soon as possible so we can help the American people,” he said.

A third ballot took place after a bid to temporarily empower Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) failed to gain traction and then a meeting between Jordan and some GOP holdouts ended with members saying they would not budge.

The GOP-led House voted 17 days ago to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker, with eight Republicans joining Democrats in opposing him. In the days that followed, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) beat out Jordan to become the GOP’s next nominee for speaker. But Scalise dropped out when he could not muster enough support to be elected speaker within the Republican conference. Jordan won the GOP nomination for speaker after Scalise bowed out.

Jordan, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, had received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, the GOP frontrunner in the 2024 presidential contest. In all three ballots, Jordan received votes from the majority of the GOP conference, including McCarthy and Scalise.

Some of Jordan’s supporters have pledged to back him for as many as 100 rounds or as long as it took for him to win. It took McCarthy 15 rounds of voting in January to win the speakership.

McCarthy delivered the nominating speech on the floor for Jordan on Friday, describing the Ohio Republican as an effective legislator and one of the most “selfless” members he’s ever met.


However, Jordan could not overcome opposition from 25 Republicans, with three more joining the group this time around: Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Tom Kean (R-NJ), and Marcus Molinaro (R-NY). Some defectors have raised political gripes or shared concerns about the priorities of their home districts not being met. A few members said they received death threats after opposing Jordan’s candidacy. Jordan issued a statement condemning threats against his colleagues.

The holdouts in the third ballot included: House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) and Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Ken Buck (R-CO), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Fitzpatrick, Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Tony Gonzales (R-TX), John James (R-MI), Kean, Mike Kelly (R-PA), Jenn Kiggans (R-VA), Nick LaLota (R-NY), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Molinaro, John Rutherford (R-FL), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Pete Stauber (R-MN), and Steve Womack (R-AR).

Jordan managed to keep the support of Reps. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who opposed his bid in the first round but flipped in favor of Jordan in the second ballot.

The people besides Jordan and Jeffries who received votes for speaker in the third ballot included: Scalise, McCarthy, Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), House Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA), and former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).

The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly state that a speaker has to be a sitting member of the House.

If Jordan drops out, other Republicans may announce candidacies for speaker. Members who are reportedly being talked about include Emmer, Budget Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA), Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), and Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI).

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