Updated Monday 7:43 p.m.: “We must, this week, come together as Republicans and elect a new speaker and get back to work. Growing our Republican majority in the House, winning the Senate, and electing President Trump in 2024 is the best way to move our country forward. To save America, we must rid Joe Biden from the White House. Biden’s policies have been a disaster – foreign and domestic.
That’s why I’ve made a commitment to President Trump to help lead his campaign in Pennsylvania. I want to focus on this commitment, as well as the House and PA Senate race, so therefore, I am withdrawing from the Speaker’s race. I believe the House will elect a new Speaker, and I know we will be in good hands with one of our colleagues running. I’ve spoken to President Trump, and he supports my decision.”
Congressman Dan Meuser (R-09) is one of nine candidates seeking the Speakership of the United States House of Representatives.
Meuser, serving his third term in Washington as the representative from east-central PA, is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus and serves on the House Financial Services and Small Business Committees. The former businessman and state Secretary of Revenue is considered a long-shot at best for the job.
The House Republican Conference will meet on Tuesday to select its next candidate. Here are the other candidates.
Tom Emmer (R-Minn.). Considered the top contender for the post, Emmer serves as the House Majority Whip and his deputy – Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-14) – is running his campaign. His current position gives him institutional advantages over the other eight candidates, however, TrumpWorld is vehemently against him and already circulating opposition research. Emmer backed the former president in 2016 and 2020. But the fact that other lawmakers have not cleared the lane for Emmer speaks to the challenge awaiting.
Mike Johnson (R-La.). He is the GOP conference vice chair and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee. As a member of leadership since 2021, there are questions about elevating someone already in leadership as well as putting two representatives from the Bayou State at the leadership table.
Bryan Donalds (R-Fla.). The second-term lawmaker from the southwestern part of the state is an intriguing candidate for the job. He is viewed as someone who has a constant and charismatic presence on television – important to House Republicans. But the 44-year-old has been in politics for just seven years and that could be seen as an impediment to such a leap.
Kevin Hern (R-Okla.). He is the chair of the Republican Study Committee and is seen as a strong contender. A successful businessman, Hern will pull from the same base as Johnson – socially conservative Southerners – as his ideas are in the mainstream of contemporary conservative thought. His downside is that there are three candidates in the race that all hope to draw from that base.
Jack Bergman (R-Mich.). The retired Marine general has been in Congress since 2017 has the support of the Michigan delegation and could be candidate to run the chamber as a temporary assignment. Does the House GOP want someone who has nothing to lose and will little harm? That may not be where the majority is at this time.
Austin Scott (R-Ga.). The seventh-term congressman received 81 votes for the Speakership when he ran against Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) 10 days ago. Was that real support or votes against the outspoken Jordan? A defense hawk, Scott will draw votes from the House Armed Services Committee.
Pete Sessions (R-Texas). Sessions has been here before and his candidacy has been unsuccessful each time. Could the Texas delegation all move to him as a successor to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)? It is not seen as likely for the former NRCC chair.
Gary Palmer (R-Ala.). In his third term as chair of the Republican Policy Committee, he was a longtime player in state conservative circles before winning a House seat in 2014. A late entry into the race, Palmer, Johnson and Hern may divide the socially conservative Southern vote.
Punchbowl News provided a graphic that shows how each of the nine candidates for speaker voted on five key issues:
- Certifying the 2020 election
- The 2022 same-sex marriage vote
- September’s $300M Ukraine supplemental
- McCarthy’s Fiscal Responsibility Act
- Stopgap funding bill that ended McCarthy’s speakership
A candidate forum will be held Monday evening with voting scheduled for Tuesday. The lowest vote-getter is dropped from the next ballot until there’s only one candidate left.