House Speaker Races Gets Tighter After Kevin Hern Steps Down

( – The race for who will take the vacant speakership seat in the U.S. House of Representatives continues to keep the public in suspense, even after Republican Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern said that he will not be running for Speaker any longer.

The announcement follows the very glowing endorsement for speakership that former president Donald Trump has given Jim Jordan, a Republican representative for Ohio.

In a statement, Hern said that his decision follows more than 50 hours of phone conversations with his GOP colleagues in the House, and a desire to see greater unity within the Republican Party in Congress.

Infighting and disagreements among the GOP in Congress were highlighted following the ouster of Republican California Representative Kevin McCarthy from the speakership. The coup was led by a fellow Republican, Florida Representative Matt Gaetz, who along with seven other GOP members, spearheaded the initiative to vote McCarthy out. The eight Reps expressed distrust of the former speaker due to the passage of a stopgap bill that, while preventing a shutdown of the federal government, also involved compromising with the Democrats in the House. Ironically, Gaetz’s initiative was slammed by other Republicans, and the same Democrats McCarthy worked with were the same ones who voted him out.

While Trump has endorsed Jordan for the speakership, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise is also still in the running for the position. The former commander-in-chief has also floated himself as a possible “unifying” Speaker of the House, a post he says he will hold only in the interim if House Republicans need more time to clean house and get their affairs in order. A Trump speakership, while unlikely, would be allowed under Congressional rules, which do not require the speaker to be from Congress.

The concern over unity among the Republican party in the House is not without merit. If history is any indication, voting for McCarthy to become speaker – despite also being endorsed by Trump – took an intense 15 rounds of voting before he was finally given the gavel.

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