(WASHINGTON) -- Nine Republicans are officially running for speaker after almost three weeks of chaos without a leader in the House.
House Republicans will hear from each candidate in a closed-door forum on Monday night. An internal secret-ballot vote will then be held on Tuesday morning, with the goal of selecting a lawmaker to be the party's nominee for speaker -- followed by a floor vote on electing that person as early as later Tuesday.
Republicans have done this twice since Kevin McCarthy was deposed as speaker in early October. The two previous lawmakers, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, could not unify the party enough to be elected as McCarthy's successor, leaving one half of Congress in unprecedented limbo.
According to House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, the following candidates are now running for speaker:
Jack Bergman of Michigan
Serving in his fourth term, Rep. Jack Bergman is a retired lieutenant general who spent decades in the Marine Corps.
"My hat is in the ring, and I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not," Bergman announced on X on Friday afternoon. "I have no special interests to serve; I'm only in this to do what's best for our Nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress."
He has a relatively low profile in the chamber, with assignments on the Armed Services, Budget and Veterans' Affairs committees.
Byron Donalds of Florida
Rep. Byron Donalds is serving his second term after coming up through the Florida state Legislature. He has deep ties to Donald Trump and is a favorite of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus. He is one of four Black House Republicans, was the GOP's leadership representative for the freshman class of the 117th Congress and is lauded for his communication skills.
"BYRON RUNNING FOR SPEAKER" -- a brief press release from his office announced on Friday.
Donalds then released a full statement later on Friday explaining why he wants to be speaker, including, as he said on social media, to "advance our conservative agenda," "secure our border" and more.
Tom Emmer of Minnesota
After serving as the No. 3 Republican behind McCarthy and Scalise, Emmer is seen as an emerging contender. As the House majority whip, he is in charge of organizing other Republicans to pass key legislation.
Emmer announced his bid in a letter to colleagues on Saturday. He said on X that he was running "to bring our conference together and get back to work."
He has picked up McCarthy's endorsement and, having previously served as the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the fundraising arm of House Republicans, he has more extensive relationships in the party than some other contenders.
However, he is deeply disliked by some of Trump's supporters because he did not vote against certifying the 2020 presidential election results shortly after the Jan. 6 riot.
Emmer is serving his fifth term, with a seat on the House Financial Services Committee.
Kevin Hern of Oklahoma
Rep. Kevin Hern had previously flirted with the speakership following McCarthy being voted out but chose not to run against Jordan or Scalise.
But right after Jordan ended his own bid last week, Hern told reporters, "At this juncture, yes I am going to run."
A short time later, he elaborated in a statement: "We need a different type of leader who has a proven track record of success, which is why I'm running for Speaker of the House."
Hern, in his fourth term, sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and is the current chairman of the Republican Study Committee -- the largest group of House Republicans.
Mike Johnson of Louisiana
Rep. Mike Johnson, a fourth-term lawmaker, is the House Republican vice conference chair and previously served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
He also holds seats on the Judiciary and Armed Services committees.
In a letter to colleagues on Saturday, Johnson outlined seven goals if elected speaker which included restoring trust, promoting individual members and focusing on effective messaging.
"We all agree the urgency of this hour demands a specific plan and bold, decisive action," Johnson wrote.
Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania
Rep. Dan Meuser has served in the House since 2019 and sits on the Financial Services and Small Business committees.
In a post on X, Meuser detailed his vision if elected speaker. "We must under promise and over deliver and instill a sense of ownership which will foster a culture of teamwork throughout the conference," he wrote.
Gary Palmer of Alabama
Rep. Gary Palmer has been in the House since 2015.
As chair of the Republican Policy Committee, he is the No. 5 Republican in the House.
Austin Scott of Georgia
Rep. Austin Scott first jumped into the race for speaker to oppose Jordan -- losing 81-124 in a secret ballot and then throwing his backing behind the Judiciary chairman. Now, with Jordan out of the running, Scott is reentering the free-for-all.
"If we are going to be the majority we need to act like the majority, and that means we have to do the right things the right way," Scott wrote on X.
Scott was elected during the Tea Party wave of 2010 and is now serving in his seventh term. He has seats on the Agriculture, Armed Services and the Intelligence committees.
Pete Sessions of Texas
The longest-tenured lawmaker to enter the race so far, Rep. Pete Sessions is serving in his 13th term after a two-year hiatus because he lost reelection in 2018 -- then won his 2020 race.
"Congressman Sessions believes he can forge a positive path as a conservative leader who can unite the Conference. During his congressional career, he has played a vital role in the Republican Party, in Texas and nationally, including a decade in Party leadership," a spokesman said.
Like Emmer, Sessions previously served as the chairman of the NRCC and was chairman of the House Rules Committee. He has current assignments on the Financial Services and Oversight committees.
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