Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced in January that he would not be running for re-election, leaving Republican House leadership up for grabs — and they’re wasting no time picking Ryan’s replacement.
According to Politico, Republicans will vote on their party leadership on November 14, just over a week after the midterm elections.
Depending on how the election pans out, Republicans will either be voting for Speaker of the House or minority leader. Right now, most polls project that Democrats could come out on top, but the polls have been wrong before.
To secure a Republican majority, the GOP has to prevent Democrats from flipping 24 seats. IJR has compiled a list of House races to watch on November 6.
While Republicans have a busy week of campaigning ahead of them for the midterm elections, rumors have already begun to swirl about which Congressmen could take over leadership for the party, though the field has narrowed to two clear front-runners:
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
Rep. Kevin McCarty is a clear possibility to take over leadership of House Republicans. The congressman from California is already the number two Republican in the House, acting as majority leader.
Not only does McCarthy have experience in party leadership, but he also received Ryan’s endorsement.
Ryan stated, “I think Kevin’s the right guy to step up.”
While Ryan is the current Speaker, it isn’t clear how his endorsement will impact McCarthy’s odds. The relationship between President Donald Trump and Ryan has been rocky.
With that said, McCarthy has had a good relationship with Trump.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2018
Congressman Jim Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan announced that he would be seeking the position as top Republican House member. The congressman from Ohio is a staunch conservative, leading the House Freedom Caucus.
Jordan will likely carry the support of the most conservative members of Congress, but he lacks the leadership experience of McCarthy.
In addition to his uphill battle against McCarthy, Jordan has caught the ire of Trump for his votes against the Affordable Care Act repeal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
Majority Whip Steve Scalise
Although many have floated Steve Scalise as a potential party leader, the congressman from Louisiana has stated that he would not run against McCarthy.
With Scalise staying out of the race for party leadership, it only leaves McCarthy and Jordan. If Republicans maintain control of the House, one of the two men will need to receive 218 votes to become the Speaker, a number Jordan could easily keep McCarty from getting.
The Democrats, on the other hand, will also have to pick new leadership, with several candidates claiming they would not back Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) if she ran to be Speaker.
Ultimately, the elections on November 6 will give the final say on who controls the House, but voters can expect to see bids for party leadership launch shortly after.