Republican Defectors Opposing McCarthy Galvanize Support Around Another Candidate
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (C) talks to a colleague as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) works behind him, as the House of Representatives cast their votes for Speaker of the House, on the first day of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 03, 2023 in Washington, DC. Today members of the 118th Congress will be sworn-in and the House of Representatives will elect a new Speaker of the House.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 19 Republican defectors who continue to block Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) bid to become House Speaker galvanized their support behind a different candidate during the second round of voting Tuesday afternoon.

During the first round of voting, McCarthy secured 203 votes, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) received 212 votes, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) received 10 votes, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) received six votes, Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) received one vote, former Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) received one vote, and Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) received one vote.

The Republicans who blocked McCarthy’s bid included Reps. Dan Bishop (NC), Lauren Boebert (CO), Josh Brecheen (OK), Mike Cloud (TX), Andrew Clyde (GA), Eli Crane (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Bob Good (VA), Paul Gosar (AZ), Andy Harris (MD), Anna Paulina Luna (FL), Mary Miller (IL), Ralph Norman (SC), Andy Ogles (TN), Scott Perry (PA), Matt Rosendale (MT), Chip Roy (TX), Keith Self (TX), and Andy Biggs (AZ).

The vote then moved to a second round where the same 19 Republicans continued to block McCarthy’s bid — except this time, they all voted for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus.

Jordan, however, continued to support McCarthy, saying on the House floor during the second round of voting: “I think Kevin McCarthy is the right guy to lead us.”

“We came in the same time 16 years ago and we haven’t always agreed on everything,” Jordan said. “But I liked his fight. I like his tenacity.”

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