REP. HERN ANNOUNCES HE WILL NOT RUN FOR SPEAKER, CALLING FOR GOP UNITY

News 9 - October 9, 2023 6:28 am

Rep. Kevin Hern

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Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Tulsa) will not run for the vacant House speakership, according to an announcement he made Saturday.

The House is without a speaker after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was booted from the position last Tuesday, and thus, the legislative body is paralyzed until a replacement is found. Hern floated a bid for House speakership, but said a three-way race would only stoke divisions within the conference.

“While many of [GOP House members] emphasized the necessity for new blood in our leadership, the need for unity comes first and foremost,” Hern said in his announcement.

Hern—chairman of the Republican Study Committee—said he came to this conclusion after spending over 50 hours speaking to 221 Republicans in the House.

The race is now down to two candidates, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)—the House majority leader—and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). In his announcement, Hern called the two lawmakers “proven leaders” and “good friends.” Both Jordan and Scalise have formally held Hern’s position as chair of the Republican Study Committee.

Hern wrapped up his announcement by calling on his conference to coalesce around one candidate.

“Whatever happens next, our Conference must commit to stay in the room, turn off our phones, and work together until we have a candidate who can earn 217 Republican votes,” Hern said. “ When we leave that room and head to the House floor, we must show the world that we are united in support behind our Speaker and ready to do the work we were elected to do.”

In January, it took a historic 15 ballots to bring McCarthy enough votes to become speaker. Hern was one of the many names nominated for House speaker in protest against McCarthy, garnering only a handful of votes.

McCarthy clinched the speakership by dishing out concessions to hard-right members of his conference. One of those concessions being that a single member could move the House to a vote to oust him, a power wielded Tuesday by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-CA).

Rep Hern said, “I’ve been on the phone 50+ hours with Republican members and what’s clear is we all want UNITY. I believe a three-man race for Speaker will create even more division and make it harder to elect a Speaker.” Read his letter here:”

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