Politics

How the sprawling GOP field of speaker contenders are making their case to a fractured conference

With the field now set among nine House Republicans running for speaker, let’s take a quick look at how they’re pitching themselves to a divided GOP conference.

Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.): “I will also always be honest and direct with all of you, even if we disagree. I will never make a promise I cannot fulfill. I expect to be held accountable, and you can expect that we will also keep you to your word.” (Full statement.)
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), outlining seven priorities for the next speaker: “My extensive background in law, policy, strategic analysis, messaging, managing, networking and building coalitions happens to have served as uncommon preparation for the extraordinary demands of this day.” (Full statement.)
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), who’s leaned on his business record: “I think what our members of our conference are looking for is somebody that’s got a broader depth of leadership. Something different,” he said in an interview with Newsmax.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.): “Being a member of the Freedom Caucus, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with members in Main Street — members who are on the more moderate side of our conference. We’ve worked well together this entire time. They trust me that when I say something that I mean it,” he said in an interview on Newsmax.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas): “I am entering this race because of my ten years in Republican leadership — with the knowledge about how to move our party forward,” he said in an interview on Newsmax.
Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.): “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. 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 Now that he has withdrawn I am running again to be the Speaker of the House.” (His tweet.)
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.): “The Republican majority must be willing to make the reforms necessary to ensure fiscal responsibility and restore people’s faith in their government — and in us as their elected representatives. We cannot do this until we are united as Republicans and get back to serving the people who sent us to Washington to defend and advance their interests and not our own.” (His full statement.)
Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.): “My hat is in the ring, and I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not. I have no special interests to serve; I’m only in this to do what’s best for our Nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress.” (His press release.)
Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.): “Our current challenge as a Conference is not policy or fundraising but unity. Throughout my life, I have been a fervent proponent for teamwork and the greater good over individual gain… We must under promise and over deliver and instill a sense of ownership which will foster a culture of teamwork throughout the conference.” (His full letter.)

Just two — Emmer and Scott — voted to certify President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.

The longest-serving? Sessions, who’s served in Congress since 1997. He lost his seat in the 2018 midterms before claiming a different one in 2020.

The shortest-serving? Donalds, who only took office representing his southwest Florida seat in 2021.

How will this process play out? Candidates will hold a forum Monday at 6:30 p.m., fielding questions from the conference. There will then be an internal conference vote on Tuesday. It could take a while: The lowest vote getters are dropped each round until the field goes down to one.

With the field now set among nine House Republicans running for speaker, let’s take a quick look at how they’re pitching themselves to a divided GOP conference.

Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.): “I will also always be honest and direct with all of you, even if we disagree. I will never make a promise I cannot fulfill. I expect to be held accountable, and you can expect that we will also keep you to your word.” (Full statement.)
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), outlining seven priorities for the next speaker: “My extensive background in law, policy, strategic analysis, messaging, managing, networking and building coalitions happens to have served as uncommon preparation for the extraordinary demands of this day.” (Full statement.)
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), who’s leaned on his business record: “I think what our members of our conference are looking for is somebody that’s got a broader depth of leadership. Something different,” he said in an interview with Newsmax.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.): “Being a member of the Freedom Caucus, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with members in Main Street — members who are on the more moderate side of our conference. We’ve worked well together this entire time. They trust me that when I say something that I mean it,” he said in an interview on Newsmax.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas): “I am entering this race because of my ten years in Republican leadership — with the knowledge about how to move our party forward,” he said in an interview on Newsmax.
Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.): “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. 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.” (His tweet.)
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.): “The Republican majority must be willing to make the reforms necessary to ensure fiscal responsibility and restore people’s faith in their government — and in us as their elected representatives. We cannot do this until we are united as Republicans and get back to serving the people who sent us to Washington to defend and advance their interests and not our own.” (His full statement.)
Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.): “My hat is in the ring, and I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not. I have no special interests to serve; I’m only in this to do what’s best for our Nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress.” (His press release.)
Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.): “Our current challenge as a Conference is not policy or fundraising but unity. Throughout my life, I have been a fervent proponent for teamwork and the greater good over individual gain… We must under promise and over deliver and instill a sense of ownership which will foster a culture of teamwork throughout the conference.” (His full letter.)

Just two — Emmer and Scott — voted to certify President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.
The longest-serving? Sessions, who’s served in Congress since 1997. He lost his seat in the 2018 midterms before claiming a different one in 2020.
The shortest-serving? Donalds, who only took office representing his southwest Florida seat in 2021.
How will this process play out? Candidates will hold a forum Monday at 6:30 p.m., fielding questions from the conference. There will then be an internal conference vote on Tuesday. It could take a while: The lowest vote getters are dropped each round until the field goes down to one.  

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