Updated Oct 13, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Jim Jordan wins internal vote to become GOP's speaker nominee

(Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) won the GOP nomination for speaker in an internal vote on Friday, the second Republican to win the speaker nomination in the past three days.

Why it matters: Republicans are on day 10 of not having a speaker, and Jordan faces an uphill climb in getting the 217 votes needed to secure the gavel amid strong tensions within the highly fractured conference.

  • Jordan defeated new challenger Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who entered the race on Friday, by a vote of 124-81, according to two lawmakers in the room.
  • Jordan — a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus — was first elected to the House in 2006, later serving as Republican Study Committee chairman.
  • He was previously seen as a thorn in leadership's side, having played a role in former Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) exit from Congress and having run against former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in the race for House minority leader in 2018. He later forged a strong working relationship with McCarthy.

Zoom in: Jordan has been one of former President Trump's most vocal allies and defenders in Congress, playing a leading role in defending him during Democrats impeachment inquiries.

  • He was nominated by Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), the chairman of the moderate Republican Main Street Coalition, in an effort to sway moderates.

The intrigue: Jordan is struggling to garner the support of moderates and Scalise allies within the conference.

  • Jordan attempted to offer a deal to nominate and back Scalise on the floor only in exchange for backing if he failed on the first ballot, sparking backlash from some within the conference.
  • Centrist lawmakers representing swing districts fear he could be a liability in their districts and have raised concerns about his ability to fundraise.

The big picture: No member of the House Republican conference has the support of 217 members, with some weighing teaming up with Democrats to find a consensus speaker who could work across the aisle amid the gridlock.

  • The first GOP speaker nominee this week, Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), withdrew Thursday evening after being unable to find a route to the 217 votes to win on the House floor.
Go deeper