In a surprising twist of events, Majority Whip Tom Emmer withdrew his candidacy for the position of House Speaker shortly after receiving the Republican nomination.
Emmer’s exit makes him the third candidate to withdraw, with Donald Trump openly opposing his candidacy. This follows the removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, making it a turbulent period for House Republicans.
The Nomination and Withdrawal
Emmer secured the nomination for Speaker by defeating Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson in a secret ballot vote, with a vote of 117-97. However, a non-secret roll call vote among Republicans soon revealed that 26 members intended to vote against Emmer in the actual House floor vote, rendering his chances of receiving 217 votes practically impossible.
The Reasons for Withdrawing
Emmer’s decision to step back from the race came as it became apparent that he lacked the necessary support to win the election. A group of Republicans made it clear they would not support him on the House floor, making it nearly impossible for him to garner the required votes to claim the position.
Donald Trump also publicly expressed his opposition to Emmer’s candidacy. In a statement on Truth Social, his social media platform, Trump said, “RINO Tom Emmer, who I don’t know well, is not one of them. He never respected the power of a Trump endorsement or the extent of MAGA—Make America Great Again. He opposed me at every turn.”
Following Emmer’s withdrawal, Mike Johnson and Kevin Hern, chairman of the Republican Study Committee and one of the eight candidates defeated by Emmer on Tuesday, promptly announced their candidacies for Speaker.
Tom Emmer’s departure from the Speaker of the House race has created a leadership vacuum and triggered a scramble among Republicans to find a suitable candidate capable of uniting their ranks and securing enough votes for victory.