Last week, California Republican Kevin McCarthy abruptly scratched himself from the list of Republican members of Congress seeking the Speaker of the House position. McCarthy, widely hailed as a more moderate Republican (we gave him a Crowdpac score of 5.2), was the clear favorite to replace Ohio Republican and current Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Now that he’s out of the way, winning the Speaker’s position is any man’s game.
So, who else is vying for this now wide open position?
Nearly half of the Speaker candidates fall on the more moderate side of conservative members of Congress much like their would-be predecessor Boehner who has a 5.8C Crowdpac score. Peter Roskam is the most moderate of these candidates, positioned at 5.3C on the spectrum. The Illinois congressman served with now President Barack Obama in the Illinois state legislature and is the current Chief Deputy Whip for the Republicans.
Following him is Daniel Webster, a Florida congressman with a 5.7C Crowdpac score. Webster currently serves on the powerful Rules Committee and received a crucial endorsement from the House Freedom Caucus. Many fear, however, that the recent Florida case ruling that many districts were gerrymandered means Webster may face a grueling primary resulting in a weak Speakership.
Next is Darrell Issa, a California congressman and rising GOP star. Hailing from a liberal state, he, too, has a more moderate Crowdpac score of 5.8.
The next three candidates make up the more conservative candidates for the Speaker of the House position. Paul Ryan, a widely respected Republican favorite and former vice presidential running mate with Mitt Romney, has refused to run despite many calling for him to do so. Nonetheless, the Wisconsinite is a more conservative option than many of the his republican counterparts with a score of 7.0C.
Slightly farther to the right with a score of 7.1C is Jason Chaffetz, is a Utah congressman and the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Chaffetz has been in the news recently for his investigation into the Planned Parenthood’s use of federal funds.
Farthest to the right is Tennessean Marsha Blackburn, the Vice Chairwoman of Energy and Commerce Committee and former Minority Whip, who falls on 7.2C on the Crowdpac spectrum.
The final suggested candidate for Speaker of the House is not a member of Congress at all. The name of Former Speaker of House Newt Gingrich has been called on by a few to put his hat in the ring. The ten time re-elected Georgian congressman and 90’s era Speaker is praised for his popularity and experience and has said that ‘moral obligation’ would bring him back to the House of Representatives should he be formally demanded to return.
For now, it remains to be seen who will win the spar for the Speakership.