House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has served as speaker since 2015, announced last week that he will not seek re-election this November… leaving a huge void for GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
But on Friday, Ryan announced who HE wants to replace him… Kevin McCarthy (R – Calif.)
But there’s been a history of Congress sometimes going against Ryan… so will McCarthy actually accept?
There’s been lot of speculation (and scrambling) in D.C. about who will replace Ryan as Speaker of the House.
McCarthy has the job if he wants it… but there are some other dark horse candidates that could step up to the position should McCarthy not accept.
Here’s a quick run-down.
#4 – The Dark Horse Candidates
They may not be household names, but according to The Hill, House members have floated House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who is fresh off a major tax-reform victory, and Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-NC) as potential contenders.
One insider pointed to Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, as someone who could emerge as a dark horse candidate.
A combined 39 years of experience in the House between the three of them, they are strong possibilities… but it remains unclear whether they are interested in the job.
#3 – Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R – Wash.)
One GOP leadership staffer didn’t rule out the possibility of House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the only woman in GOP leadership, tossing her name into the mix.
As the fourth-ranking Republican in the House, McMorris Rodgers has stood with Ryan and other House leadership on wide-ranging issues, including the massive tax reform plan that passed Congress late last year.
#2 – Steve Scalise (R – La.)
Scalise, who rose to national prominence while undergoing a dramatic recovery after being shot by a gunman during a morning softball practice last year, expressed interest in the speakership in an interview with Politico last month, saying he "wouldn't rule it out," and has "shown interest in the past at moving up."
The third-ranking Republican behind Ryan, Scalise praised Ryan for his service in Congress, but remained mum own his possible career ambitions.
“Right now, we all need to be focused on getting our job done, getting our economy back on track, working with [President] Trump to continue on the progress we’ve made, and then make sure we hold the majority,” Scalise told The Hill.
Scalise has also openly said that he will defer to rank and would not seek the position should his good friend and colleague, McCarthy (see below) accept the position.
#1 – Kevin McCarthy (R – Calif.)
Already nominated by Ryan as his successor, McCarthy was one of the earliest and highest-profile congressional backers of President Trump, and recently began working with the White House on a rescission package to cut spending hikes from the just-passed $1.3 trillion omnibus legislation after Trump expressed outrage about the pricey government funding bill.
And on Fox News last month, McCarthy sided with Trump’s call for a second special counsel to investigate allegations of political bias at the FBI and Justice Department.
Ultimately, it will all boil down whether or not McCarthy wants the job.