May 23, 2024  |  
 | Remer,MN
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Alex Miller

NextImg:Emmer officially launches bid for speaker, says GOP is at ‘crossroads’

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer has officially launched his bid for Speaker of the House after floating a run for the gavel with allies and colleagues Friday. 

Mr. Emmer, 62, made the announcement in a letter to colleagues Saturday morning. The No. 3 Republican in House leadership joins the crowded race with the advantage of having already won a conference-wide election to become majority whip and with the endorsement of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, California Republican. 

So far, six other candidates have officially entered the race for the speaker’s gavel. Those other candidates include Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, Austin Scott of Georgia, Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Pete Sessions of Texas and Jack Bergman of Michigan. 

Mr. Emmer of Minnesota previously backed Mr. McCarthy during the motion to vacate and threw support behind House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan of Ohio during their respective tenures as conference nominees for the gavel.

Divisions in the House sank both of the previous nominees.  

The fifth-term lawmaker honed in on what House Republicans have been able to accomplish when they have worked as a team despite the razor-thin majority that has consistently caused issues for the GOP-led House. 

“We repeatedly beat the odds to pass signature pieces of our agenda on behalf of the American people because we came together despite our razor-thin majority and made sure everyone had a seat at the table,” Mr. Emmer said. 

He touted the GOP’s Secure the Border Act, which the Senate has not taken up since it was passed in May, and “the first Republican-only” National Defense Authorization Act as examples of the fruits of unity produced by the conference this year. 

Mr. Emmer also highlighted his time as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, an arm of the GOP that works to elect conservatives to the House. 

He noted that under his watch conservatives picked up seats in the lower chamber in back-to-back elections despite predictions of a Red Wave during the 2022 election cycle, providing a dominant majority in the lower chamber falling flat. 

Mr. Emmer, along with the other half dozen candidates, will have his hands full in trying to unify the fractured GOP to support his bid for the gavel. A source familiar confirmed to The Washington Times that he intends to sign a unity pledge to support whoever comes out on top of the speaker race. 

“Our Conference remains at a crossroads and the deck is stacked against us. We have no choice but to fight like hell to hold on to our House majority and deliver on our conservative agenda,” Mr. Emmer said. “Having had the privilege of getting to know all of you as your NRCC Chair and as your majority whip, I know we are still ready for that fight.”

• Alex Miller can be reached at