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Austin Scott Launches Speakership Bid Against Jim Jordan

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Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, will face Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) in the race for speaker.

“We are in Washington to legislate, and I want to lead a House that functions in the best interest of the American people,” Scott wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The late statement by Scott, a seventh-term lawmaker who wasn’t widely expected to run for speaker, is apparently a protest against Jordan as House GOP lawmakers prepare to hold a candidate forum for the speaker position on Friday.

“I don’t necessarily want to be the speaker of the House. I want a House that functions correctly, but the House is not functioning correctly right now,” he said.

Scott told the media this morning that he has “no intention” of seeking the Speaker’s position.

“I care more about the conference and that it’s doing our job than I care about who the Speaker is. I truly do,” Scott said. “When I woke up this morning I had no intention of doing this.”

“I believe is if we as Republicans are gonna be the majority, we have to do the right things the right way. And we’re not doing that right now,” he later added.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and another House Republican claim that at Thursday night’s closed-door conference meeting, Scott stood up and declared his opposition to Jordan.

While speaking to reporters on Friday, Scott refuted claims that his campaign is a “anti-Jordan” endeavor, saying, “Jim’s a friend of mine.”

There was nothing Jordan could do to win his support, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) told reporters on Friday morning. Rogers declared his intention to support McCarthy before to Scott’s declaration.

Following Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La. ), who Republicans narrowly nominated Wednesday to be Speaker, abruptly withdrawing from the campaign Thursday evening as it became evident he would not receive the support from Republicans needed to prevail on the House floor, Friday’s candidate forum is held.

However, it’s not yet certain if Jordan, Scalise’s main rival, can make it either.

“I assume a large block of people that work for Steve will probably start out with Austin,” said Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), who is supporting Jordan.

Jordan had an uphill battle ahead of him to win the gavel even before Scott entered the race.

At least two representatives, Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) and Scott, informed the media on Thursday night that they would not back Jordan.

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Ohio Republican called and met with holdouts on Friday morning. Jordan expressed confidence in his chances of taking the gavel after the morning conference meeting, but before Scott formally entered the contest.

“We got broad support across the conference; I feel good about where we’re at, but we got a candidate where members are gonna ask you more questions, we’ll go from there,” he told reporters, later adding “I feel real good about the vote.”

After eight Republicans joined with Democrats last week to vote to remove then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the office, House Republicans are currently attempting to elect a new Speaker.

When talking about his candidacy for Speaker, Scott brought up McCarthy’s dismissal.

“A couple of days ago when eight Republicans, eight Republicans … with 208 Democrats to take the Speaker of the House out. That’s the wrong thing to do,” he said. “And so we have to stop that type of stuff. If we’re gonna be the majority party we have to act like the majority party.”

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