House Braces for Possible Multi-Ballot Speaker Race as Jim Jordan Closes in on Gavel

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) likely will have to wait beyond Tuesday’s first ballot as he continues meeting one-on-one with holdouts in his campaign for Speaker.

Remaining holdouts are expected to creep into the double digits. They include allies of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who has endorsed Jordan, as well as allies of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) still smarting over perceived slights at how he was treated last week by Jordan and his team.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), a Jordan supporter, is attending a family funeral and not expected in Washington until this evening.

Without Bilirakis’s vote, Jordan can lose no more than three Republicans to claim victory, although it appears there will be enough Jordan holdouts to defeat him on the first ballot. However, Jordan intends to conduct as many ballots as necessary. McCarthy required fifteen ballots in January to win the gavel.

Jordan received a continuation of Monday’s momentum when Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) endorsed him Tuesday morning and continues reaching out to members.

Holdouts hold a variety of grievances, many personal or due to prior allegiances.

McCarthy supporters include Reps. Mike Lawler (R-NY), John Rutherford (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), and Don Bacon (R-NE). Scalise allies includes Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Mike Kelly (R-PA).

Jordan hopes McCarthy and Scalise holdouts will join his column after one or more ballots.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who has openly expressed a desire to leave Congress before the end of his term to work for CNN, remains a holdout.

Buck claims to be denying support for Jordan due to Jordan elevating Trump’s election claims, but the two continued talking Tuesday.

Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who had announced her support for Jordan, softened her support Monday, but may ultimately side with Jordan.

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IO) is reported to be upset with the grassroots uprising against Jordan holdouts, which she blames Jordan for doing nothing to stop.

Grassroots conservatives have been “melting” Capitol phone lines in support of Jordan, as Breitbart News reported.

Other holdouts are suspected, and Jordan would need to continue working after a first ballot to retain support.

The House will begin setting up the first roll call vote at noon Tuesday, which may take up to a couple of hours to complete.

Follow Bradley Jaye on Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.

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