House Speaker Paul Ryan has endorsed GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to be his successor. “We all think that Kevin is the right person,” Ryan said, speaking on behalf of the GOP’s House leadership.
Ryan also said Majority Whip Steve Scalise, another possible contender for the speakership, agreed McCarthy was the man for the job.
Ryan has announced he is retiring from the House after this term, but plans to stay on as speaker through the November midterm election. His endorsement of McCarthy may help head off a battle between his subordinates over the top post.
Scalise, the third-highest ranking Republican in the chamber, has insisted he would not challenge McCarthy, despite speculation he might want to replace Ryan. “I’ve never run against Kevin, and wouldn’t run against Kevin,” Scalise told Fox News on Thursday.
Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and prominent member of the libertarian-leaning House Freedom Caucus, has also said he was open to becoming speaker.
“There is no speaker’s race right now,” he told reporters on Friday. “Paul Ryan is the speaker. If and when there is, I’ve been encouraged by colleagues to consider that, and I am definitely open to that.”