Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) have thrown their hat in the ring to replace former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) who was removed from the position on Tuesday and has since said he will not run for the post again.
Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary committee, pitched his candidacy to the House Republican conference in a ‘Dear colleague’ letter Wednesday. Jordan regurgitated typically Republican talking points about the border, crime and the ‘weaponization of the government’ while promising to unite the Republican conference.
“We are at a critical crossroad in our nation’s history. Now is the time for our Republican conference to come together to keep our promises to Americans,” Jordan wrote. “The problems we face are challenging, but they are not insurmountable. We can focus on the changes that improve the country and unite us in offering real solutions. But no matter what we do, we must do it together as a conference.”
“I respectfully ask for your support for Speaker of the House of Representatives,” he added.
Scalise, the House Majority Leader, also pitched his candidacy in a ‘Dear colleague’ letter, touting his alleged credentials as a consensus builder.
“You know my leadership style I’ve displayed as your Majority Leader and Whip,” Scalise wrote. “I have a proven track record of bringing together the diverse array of viewpoints within our Conference to build consensus where others thought it impossible.”
Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Mike Carey (Ohio), Darrell Issa (CA), Thomas Massie (KY) and Matt Gaetz (Fl)– who led the effort to oust McCarthy–have already come out in support of Jordan. Rep. Tom Emmer (Minn.) who was seen as a potential replacement for McCarthy has endorsed Scalise.
However, both candidates may struggle to garner support from the more moderate members of the House Republican conference because of their far-right views.