WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday could begin voting on a new speaker to lead their narrow and fractious majority, which just last week ousted Kevin McCarthy from the job in a historic first.
Here are the candidates who have declared their interest and some other possibilities.
IN: STEVE SCALISE
Representative Steve Scalise is the No. 2 House Republican and was long considered to be next in line after McCarthy.
The Louisiana lawmaker was severely wounded in a shooting during practice for a charity baseball game in 2017. He may face questions from the caucus about his health, as he has been in treatment for multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, since August.
IN: JIM JORDAN
Representative Jim Jordan was nominated by some Republican rebels to be speaker when they first picked one in January, and he received as many as 20 votes. Jordan had also previously challenged McCarthy in a race for minority leader in 2018.
Jordan, who represents a district in Ohio, is chair of the House Judiciary Committee, one of the three panels at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, a Democrat. A firebrand, Jordan publicly sparred with Democrats over their investigations into then-President Donald Trump, who last week endorsed Jordan’s bid.
POSSIBLE: PATRICK MCHENRY
Representative Patrick McHenry was named to step in as speaker pro tempore following McCarthy’s ouster. Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, McHenry is a McCarthy ally who spoke in support of McCarthy before the ouster vote.
McHenry, a lawmaker from North Carolina, has said he does not want the job, but supporters may push him toward it if other candidates lose support.
POSSIBLE: KEVIN MCCARTHY
The former speaker has sent conflicting signals on whether he would seek a return, should Scalise and Jordan fail to capture support from 218 lawmakers. He told reporters on Monday that he would accept the will of the caucus if it asked him, but Tuesday said he had asked members not to nominate him.
OUT: KEVIN HERN
Kevin Hern is chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative Republicans. He told reporters that several lawmakers have approached him to consider running and suggested that he would be open to it, but later confirmed he would not run.
(Compiled by Makini Brice; additional reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Scott Malone, Howard Goller, David Gregorio and Jonathan Oatis)