Republicans Search for Next Speaker

Democrats and Republicans are competing for control of the House in the 2018 elections.
If Republicans are able to hang on to a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, their first challenge will be electing a new leader. As their majority will be threatened during the upcoming midterm elections and with current Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) retiring, the GOP wing of the chamber will be scrambling to elect its new chamber leader.

Two current frontrunners, according to The Hill, are Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana). However, in 2015 McCarthy dropped his bid for speaker and there is no guarantee that Scalise would garner enough caucus votes to get the job.

Here are other contenders that could arise for the leadership position:

Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina)

Meadows, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, could arise as a potential as former caucus leader Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) battles allegations from his time as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State. Meadows has been an avid supporter of President Donald Trump, but some of his positions have lost him some favor with fellow Republicans.

Mark Walker (R-North Carolina)

Walker is currently the chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus in the House. The former Baptist minister has held audience with Trump on numerous occasions but has not made any friends following a gaffe where he called female committee members “eye candy.”

Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina)

The western North Carolina member has seen his rise in the party come on suddenly as he remained an unknown up until a few years ago. He has stated he has no intention of running for the Speaker position, but some Republicans believe McHenry will hold the gavel at some point.

Ann Wagner (R-Missouri)

Wagner was a former ambassador for George W. Bush and former chair of the Republican National Committee. She is currently a senior member of the Scalise’s whip team behind McHenry, but her loyalty to Scalise could — also like McHenry — lead her to not make a run at the Speaker’s chair.

Ted Yoho (R-Florida)

The Florida congressman had run for Speaker previously and lost. He indicated that he might be willing to do it again, but only if Jordan doesn’t decide to himself. However, like Meadows, getting the full GOP delegation to throw support behind a member of the Freedom Caucus could be a tough sell.

Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

The list wouldn’t be complete without the former leader of the House Freedom Caucus. However, Jordan is facing issues in his home state over his time as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State. Allegations are that he did not report sexual abuse faced by wrestlers under his charge.

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