Who are the 9 GOP candidates for House speaker now?


House Republicans are set to renew their frantic search for a speaker Monday, nearly three weeks since Kevin McCarthy was ousted as their leader — effectively bringing the business of lawmaking to a halt and throwing the party in control of Congress’s lower chamber into disarray.

Nine candidates who are officially vying for the gavel will participate in a closed-door forum on Capitol Hill Monday night to each make their case in front of the House Republican Conference, which is expected to vote on its next nominee for speaker on Tuesday morning.

The candidates are as follows:

• Tom Emmer, Minnesota

• Mike Johnson, Louisiana

• Jack Bergman, Michigan

• Gary Palmer, Alabama

• Byron Donalds, Florida

• Kevin Hern, Oklahoma

• Dan Meuser, Pennsylvania

• Austin Scott, Georgia

• Pete Sessions, Texas

Below is a quick guide to each of the candidates and what their chances are of getting 217 votes needed to become the next speaker of the House.

Rep. Tom Emmer

FILE—House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., heads to a closed-door Republican strategy session led by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on funding the government and averting a shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)FILE—House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., heads to a closed-door Republican strategy session led by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on funding the government and averting a shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., heads to a closed-door Republican strategy session led by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on funding the government and averting a shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) (AP)

Age: 62
Years served in Congress: 4
Key position: House majority whip

Emmer, the no. 3 Republican in leadership, announced his bid for the speakership on Saturday. He was quickly endorsed by McCarthy.

“He sets himself head and shoulders above all those others who want to run,” McCarthy said of Emmer on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. “We need to get him elected this week and move on, and bring not just this party together but focus on what this country needs most.”

Emmer is one of just two candidates currently vying for speaker who voted to certify the results of the 2020 election. That vote has provoked the ire of some of former President Donald Trump’s most prominent allies.

Rep. Mike Johnson

UNITED STATES - APRIL 26: Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during the House Judiciary Committee hearing titled UNITED STATES - APRIL 26: Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during the House Judiciary Committee hearing titled

UNITED STATES – APRIL 26: Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during the House Judiciary Committee hearing titled “Oversight of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. ATF Director Steven Dettelbach testified. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) (CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag)

Age: 51
Years served in Congress: 6
Key position: Vice chairman of the House Republican Conference

Johnson, an attorney and former talk show host serving in his fourth term, previously supported Rep. Jim Jordan’s failed speakership bid.

“We all agree the urgency of this hour demands a specific plan and bold, decisive action,” Johnson said in a letter to colleagues announcing his candidacy. “It also demands a leader who will humble himself each day before Almighty God, selflessly serve the full membership of this body, and fight ceaselessly for our core conservative principles and policies.”

Rep. Jack Bergman

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 19: Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) speaks to reporters as he arrives to a meeting with House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Republicans held hours-long meetings to consider empowering Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) but Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) says he will seek a third vote to become Speaker after failing to get enough support in the first two votes. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 19: Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) speaks to reporters as he arrives to a meeting with House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. The Republicans held hours-long meetings to consider empowering Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) but Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) says he will seek a third vote to become Speaker after failing to get enough support in the first two votes. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Age: 76
Years served in Congress: 6
Key position: Serves on the House Armed Services and Veterans committees

Bergman, a retired Marine lieutenant general who is in his fourth term, is the oldest candidate on the list.

“The regular functioning of the federal government can’t wait on useless infighting and arguments,” Bergman said in a statement announcing his bid. “What matters right now is choosing a Speaker in order to make sure that our government — and particularly our military — is funded, and that both our homeland and our critical allies are secure in this time of crisis.”

Rep. Gary Palmer

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI/Shutterstock (13624862e)
Nominee for House Republican Policy Chair Rep. Gary Palmer, R-AL, speaks during a press conference after House Republicans held their leadership elections for the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
House Republicans Hold Press Conference After Leadership Elections for 118th Congress, Washington, District of Columbia, United States - 15 Nov 2022Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI/Shutterstock (13624862e)
Nominee for House Republican Policy Chair Rep. Gary Palmer, R-AL, speaks during a press conference after House Republicans held their leadership elections for the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.
House Republicans Hold Press Conference After Leadership Elections for 118th Congress, Washington, District of Columbia, United States - 15 Nov 2022

Age: 69
Years served in Congress: 8
Key position: Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee

The fifth-term congressman, who was elected in 2014, has served as the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee for the last five years.

Rep. Byron Donalds

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib) (AP)

Age: 44
Years served in Congress: 2
Key committees: Serves on the House Oversight and Reform and Financial Services committees

The 44-year-old is the youngest on the list but arguably the most well known. He was nominated for speaker in January by influential right-wing Texas Rep. Chip Roy and has become a conservative media staple.

“My sole focus will be securing our border, funding our government responsibly, advancing a conservative vision for the House of Representatives and the American people, and expanding our Republican majority,” Donalds said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Rep. Kevin Hern

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (13968820a)
U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK) speaking at a press conference where members of the House Republican Study Committee introduced their FY2024 budget at the U.S. Capitol.
Introduction of House Republican Study Committee Budget in  Washington - 14 Jun 2023Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (13968820a)
U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK) speaking at a press conference where members of the House Republican Study Committee introduced their FY2024 budget at the U.S. Capitol.
Introduction of House Republican Study Committee Budget in  Washington - 14 Jun 2023

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (13968820a) U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK) speaking at a press conference where members of the House Republican Study Committee introduced their FY2024 budget at the U.S. Capitol. Introduction of House Republican Study Committee Budget in Washington – 14 Jun 2023 (Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

Age: 61
Years served in Congress: 5
Key position: Chairman of the Republican Study Committee

Hern, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives on Capitol Hill, announced his bid Friday the House Republican Conference voted to drop Jordan as its nominee.

“We must unify and do it fast,” Hern said in a statement announcing his own bid. “We need a different type of leader who has a proven track record of success, which is why I’m running for Speaker of the House.”

Rep. Dan Meuser

Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib) (AP)

Age: 59
Years served in Congress: 4
Key committees: Serves on the House Financial Services and Small Business committees

Meuser, a former business executive and staunch supporter of Trump, has vowed to bring a “business perspective to things and gain consensus.”

Rep. Austin Scott

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 LamarqueU.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

Age: 53
Years served in Congress: 12
Key committees: Serves on the House Agriculture and Armed Services committees as well as the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Scott, who had challenged Jordan for speaker and lost in a secret-ballot vote 124-81 after initially supporting him, announced another bid for the gavel on Friday.

“If we are going to be the majority we need to act like the majority, and that means we have to do the right things the right way,” Scott wrote in a post on X. “I supported and voted for Rep. Jim Jordan to be the Speaker of the House. Now that he has withdrawn I am running again to be the Speaker of the House.”

Rep. Pete Sessions

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (13710184g)
U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) speaking with other House Republicans at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol about H. J. Res. 8, the Keep the Nine constitutional amendment, to keep the size of the Supreme Court at nine justices.
House Republicans on Keeping the Supreme Court at Nine Justices in Washington - 11 Jan 2023Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (13710184g)
U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) speaking with other House Republicans at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol about H. J. Res. 8, the Keep the Nine constitutional amendment, to keep the size of the Supreme Court at nine justices.
House Republicans on Keeping the Supreme Court at Nine Justices in Washington - 11 Jan 2023

Age: 68
Years served in Congress: 24
Key position: Former chairman of the House Rules committee

Sessions, former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is the longest-serving candidate on the list. The Texas congressman lost reelection in 2018 but came back to Congress in 2020.

In a statement, he said he believes “can forge a positive path as a conservative leader who can unite the conference.”

Wild cards

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25:  U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol September 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. House GOP leaders held a news conference to discuss Speaker of the House Pelosi’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 25:  U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) listen during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol September 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. House GOP leaders held a news conference to discuss Speaker of the House Pelosi’s announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

McCarthy has not ruled out a return as speaker should the Republican conference fail to elect his permanent replacement. The conference could opt to give Rep. Patrick McHenry, who’s been filling in as temporary speaker, more powers on an interim basis, but so far they’ve been reluctant to do so.

Jordan and Rep. Steve Scalise, the two nominees after McCarthy who failed to gain the necessary support to grab the gavel, are longshots.

And since you don’t have to be a sitting member of Congress to become speaker, Trump’s name continues to be floated by some people in the Republican Party as someone who could get to 217.

Former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at the New Hampshire Statehouse to sign papers to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at the New Hampshire Statehouse to sign papers to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at the New Hampshire Statehouse to sign papers to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)



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