Tom Emmer Is the GOP’s New House Speaker Candidate: What to Know About the Minnesota Congressman

Emmer, who currently serves as the House majority whip, is the third House speaker-designate chosen in the past month, after previous picks Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan lacked the necessary support to win

<p>Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty</p> Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, the House Republicans

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, the House Republicans' new speaker-designate

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer was nominated by Republicans to run for House speaker on Tuesday afternoon, the third speaker-designate put forth by the party this month.

Emmer was among nine Republicans who announced their candidacy for the role earlier this week, including Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern, Georgia Rep. Austin Scott, Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman, Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, Pennsylvania Rep. Dan Meuser, Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, and Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer.

Emmer, 62, is currently House majority whip, and therefore the third-most powerful Republican in the House. But he has his work cut out for him, with some reports suggesting that former President Donald Trump — and, therefore, Trump's allies in Congress — aren't supportive of Emmer's bid.

On Monday, however, a reporter asked Trump himself about the speaker race, noting that Emmer hadn't always been the former president's "biggest fan."

"He’s my biggest fan now because he called me yesterday and told me, 'I'm your biggest fan,'" Trump responded, adding: "I’m trying to stay out of that as much as possible."

Emmer — who, unlike seven of the other candidates for House Speaker nominee, voted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election — has been at odds with Trump in the past, such as when he sharply criticized him in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots.

But with the challenge of Speaker ahead of him, he's embraced Trump's seeming support, writing a message to the former president on Twitter Monday that read, "Thank you, Mr. President. If my colleagues elect me Speaker of the House, I look forward to continuing our strong working relationship."

Related: Nine Republicans Are Now Running for House Speaker amid Unprecedented Congressional Gridlock

The path for Republicans to choose a House speaker has been nothing short of tumultuous for a party hoping to keep its narrow majority after the 2024 elections.

Earlier this month, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted in a first-of-its-kind recall vote initiated by far-right Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Shortly after McCarthy's historic ouster, Republicans nominated Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise to be their candidate for House speaker. The No. 2 House Republican quickly learned that he would not have enough votes to win the formal speaker election, and he soon withdrew himself from consideration for the role.

Last week, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan was selected as the new Republican House speaker nominee. But after three rounds of voting in the House speaker election, Jordan was also unable to secure the number of votes needed to win. By Friday, his dreams of the speakership were dashed when members of his own party voted to drop him as the party's House speaker nominee.

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To be formally elected as House speaker, a nominee must earn the majority of votes cast during an election. That means Emmer will need to lock in 217 votes, if everyone in the House participates in the election.

Because Republicans have a very narrow majority in the House, an election can easily result in a deadlock if even a few Republican rebels oppose the GOP nominee.

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