With the current speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, set to retire at the end of 2018, a wide field of Republicans are vying for one of the most powerful positions in government. Here are the nine Republicans running for House Speaker:
1. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) – A seven-term House veteran, Scalise currently serves as the House Majority Whip and is considered the favorite for the speaker’s Gavel. He is widely popular within the GOP and among conservative circles, and his ties to conservative-leaning donors make him a powerful prospect.
2. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) – Jordan serves as the Freedom Caucus Chairman and is a favorite among the most conservative members of the Republican Party. His strong stances on reducing government waste, lowering taxes, and defunding sanctuary cities make him a key contender.
3. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) – Meadows is the current chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and is popular among the tea party movement. He has been a vocal opponent of both Obamacare and the budget deal passed earlier in 2018, making him a tough adversary for the front runners.
4. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) – McMorris Rodgers is the current Republican leader for the House of Representatives and is seeking to rise to the Speakership. Despite her moderate record, some observers view her as a potential truce-maker between the factions of the GOP in the House.
5. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) – McCarthy is the current House Majority Leader and is widely viewed as the most serious GOP rival to Scalise for the Speakership. McCarthy is extremely popular among Republican members, and he has a long history of successfully building coalitions across party lines.
6. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) – Issa is a US Navy veteran and former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He has taken a hard stance in favor of fiscally conservative policies, but has also been a fierce critic of the Trump Administration.
7. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) – An outspoken member of the Freedom Caucus, Gohmert is known for his uninhibited positions on a variety of social and political issues. He has a history of challenging the Republican consensus on key issues, making him a wild card in the race.
8. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) – Blackburn is a staunch conservative with a long record of opposing government spending. She currently serves as the chair of the House Republican Policy Committee and is a favorite of the right.
9. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) – Reed is a moderate Republican who currently serves as the co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. He has made waves of late for his efforts to tackle the opioid crisis, proving that he is more than just a party-line vote in the House.
Whomever the Republican party nominates, the next House Speaker is sure to shape the national political landscape for years to come. This field of nine reveals that the party is reaching across party lines to consider new voices of leadership and will have the difficult task of reconciling the competing factions in the party.