With nine candidates in the running for Speaker, some Republicans are raising questions over whether their votes on overturning the 2020 election results should be a factor in electing the next leader.
The House has been in turmoil since eight Republicans joined forces with Democrats earlier this month to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from his position. Since then, the House GOP has struggled to unite behind one candidate for the Speakership.
The GOP conference voted in a secret-ballot election Friday to boot Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as the Republican nominee after he failed three times to secure the 217 votes needed for the Speakership. Jordan was Republicans’ second nominee, following Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) decision to back out one day after the conference narrowly voted to nominate him.
Some Republicans, such as Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), are saying that the candidates’ stances on who won the 2020 election will factor into their votes. Buck, one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy, told reporters Friday that declaring President Biden as the lawful winner of the 2020 election will be one of his criteria when choosing a new candidate.
McCarthy, Jordan and Scalise were among Republicans who voted in favor of overturning those election results.
Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that any candidate who voted to reject the results of the 2020 election should be disqualified from running for the Speakership.
Hours after a mob of rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, 139 House Republicans voted to object to the election results in either Arizona, Pennsylvania or both. The vote to overturn Arizona’s election results failed 121-303 and the vote to overturn Pennsylvania’s results failed 138-282.
Here is how each Speaker candidate voted on the objections:
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.)
Emmer opposed the objections to both Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s election results, making him one of two Speaker candidates who did not vote to overturn either of the state’s results.
Buck has voted for Emmer in each of the three ballots cast for the Speakership this month. The majority whip has also secured McCarthy’s endorsement, though the former Speaker voted in favor of objecting to Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential election results.
Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.)
Hern voted to object to both the Arizona and Pennsylvania election results.
He is a staunch supporter of former President Trump and has backed the former president’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
House Republican Conference Vice Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La.)
Johnson also voted to object to the election results in both Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.)
Donalds is another Republican who voted to object to both Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s election results.
Donalds officially announced his run Friday night via a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
He had received votes for the Speakership from GOP holdouts during McCarthy’s 15-ballot Speaker race in January, and he also garnered a few during Jordan’s three ballots last week.
Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.)
Bergman voted yes on objecting to Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s election results.
In a surprise move, he announced he would be running for the Speakership over the weekend, vowing in a statement that he would “end the deadlock, and win the vote.”
Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.)
Scott is the second of only two candidates to not object to either Arizona’s or Pennsylvania’s results.
Scott, a seventh-term congressman, shocked many when he pulled a significant show of support in his bid against Jordan last week, when he lost the secret ballot against Jordan in a 124-81 vote.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)
Sessions voted in favor of objecting to Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential results.
He served as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee from January 2009 until January 2013. He revealed Friday that he would run for Speaker of the House, signaling that he is ready to jump pack into GOP leadership.
Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.)
Meuser split his votes on whether to overturn the two states’ election results. He voted to sustain an objection to his home state of Pennsylvania’s election results but did not object to Arizona’s election results.
He officially filed to run for Speaker, according to the list of declared candidates House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) announced Sunday.
Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.)
Palmer, a five-term congressman, is the sixth Speaker candidate to have objected to both Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s election results.
He was a surprise name when Stefanik announced the candidates.