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The bowtie-wearing, bespectacled lawmaker with the gavel and other top House speaker candidates

The GOP conference is holding a candidate forum on Tuesday with the speaker election planned Wednesday, Just the News has learned, and some members are floating Trump as a potential contender

Published: October 3, 2023 11:34pm

Updated: November 7, 2023 2:20pm

The bowtie-wearing, bespectacled lawmaker who now holds the House gavel after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's removal is Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) but there are other potential candidates that are likely to seek the speakership.

McHenry, House Financial Services Committee chairman, became the speaker pro tempore Tuesday evening after the motion to vacate, introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), passed 216-210, with eight Republicans joining all Democrats.

McHenry could be seen slamming the gavel after he assumed the title of speaker pro tempore.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who was one of eight Republicans to vote against McCarthy on Tuesday, told Just the News that House Majority Leader Steve Scalise is at the top of his list of speaker candidates.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who also voted in favor of Gaetz's motion, mentioned Scalise when asked for his top candidates at the moment. He also named Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), the GOP conference chair, Republican Study Committee Chairman Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) and Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, as potential consensus candidates.

"The bench is very deep," he said Tuesday on Capitol Hill after the motion to vacate passed.

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) floated the idea of former President Donald Trump, a 2024 presidential candidate, as a potential speaker. When he was asked why he thinks Trump would consider the job, Jackson said, "I don't know, let's ask him."

"If we get the right person in there, I think that what will happen is we'll come out of this more united than we were before," Jackson said during an interview with Just the News after the vote to remove McCarthy. "That's my hope at least."

Jackson said the House GOP should get Trump "involved in what's going on as soon as possible."

"Maybe we need to make Trump speaker," he said.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also endorsed Trump for the job.

"The only candidate for Speaker I am currently supporting is President Donald J. Trump," Greene posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. "He will end the war in Ukraine. He will secure the border. He will end the politically weaponized government. He will make America energy independent again. He will pass my bill to stop transgender surgeries on kids and keep men out of women’s sports. He will support our military and police. And so much more!"

House Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) is also on the list of potential speaker candidates in addition to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

The GOP conference is holding a candidate forum next Tuesday with the speaker election planned for the following day on Wednesday, Just the News has learned.

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