House Republicans on Friday nominated Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the hard-right Republican and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to be their next speaker, after he turned back a challenge from a mainstream conservative.
By a vote of 124 to 81, Mr. Jordan defeated Representative Austin Scott of Georgia, an ally of the ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who had decided just hours earlier to seek the nomination. Mr. Scott had effectively put himself forward as a protest candidate against Mr. Jordan.
But while Mr. Jordan won the contest, his quest for the speakership still faced serious challenges after several mainstream Republicans said they would not support him. It was a continuation of the bitter party infighting that has broken out in recent days, paralyzing the House.
When the Speaker vote will head to the House floor remains unclear. While some, such as Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene, had urged for a floor vote to be called immediately, other lawmakers warned that Mr Jordan may need time to sway those who do not plan to vote for him.
The Republican conference is also suffering from attendance issues, with only 209 of 221 members currently in Washington DC.
Jordan, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, defeated Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia in a closed-door internal party vote Friday, 124 to 81.
But after nominating Jordan, the conference took a second secret ballot vote, to gauge support for Jordan now that he was nominee. On this vote, Jordan came away with 152 votes for him, and 55 against, far short of the 217 he would need in a formal vote on the House floor.
Following the second vote, lawmakers broke for the weekend, with few signs of what would come next. Rep. Mark Alford, R-Texas, told CNBC they would hold a floor vote on Jordan’s speakership Tuesday. But as members departed the Capitol complex, next week’s schedule was still in flux.