These are the House Republicans running for speaker
(CNN) — The high-stakes race for House speaker enters a new phase Tuesday, with a slate of new candidates vying for the gavel.
The House Republican Conference is holding its closed door meeting Tuesday with four GOP representatives running for the gavel. With multiple candidates, members will cast a successive series of secret ballots, and the candidate who garners the fewest number of votes in each round will be dropped from the running. The winning candidate will still need a majority of the conference behind them, meaning that it’s possible the race for speaker might not be fully settled at the end of the conference meeting.
Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama announced he would drop his bid for speakership right as Tuesday’s meeting was getting underway. Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas was out after the first round of closed-door secret voting. Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan was out after the second round, and Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia was out after the third.
Here are the remaining Republican lawmakers vying for the speakership:
Rep. Tom Emmer
Emmer, the House majority whip, said in a letter to his colleagues shared on Saturday that he was seeking the speakership with the goal of delivering “historic change.”
McCarthy is backing the Minnesota Republican for speaker, delivering an early boost for his candidacy.
“He’s been in the room with all of our successes,” McCarthy said of Emmer Sunday, urging his conference to elect him by the end of this week. “He sets himself head and shoulders above all those others who want to run.”
“This is not a time for a learning experience as speaker. Tom would be able to walk into the job and do it on day one,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Emmer, who voted to certify the 2020 election in a rebuke to former President Donald Trump, could face resistance from some members of the House Freedom Caucus skeptical of the current GOP leadership team and as Trump’s allies have attacked him.
The former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman was first elected to Congress in 2014 and became majority whip earlier this year. Emmer, who lost a race for Minnesota governor in 2010, was a state representative from 2004 to 2008. He sits on the Financial Services Committee.
Rep. Kevin Hern
The Oklahoma Republican, who chairs the influential Republican Study Committee, told CNN on Friday that he plans to run for speaker and will work “hard” to get people on his side.
Hern chairs the conservative group known as the Republican Study Committee.
Republican hardliners in the House Freedom Caucus floated Hern’s name as a possible nominee for speaker earlier this month. And during the deadlocked race for speaker in January, Hern, whose caucus wields a large bloc of GOP members, received a couple of anti-McCarthy protest votes in the eighth round of voting.
Hern was sworn in to the House in 2018 after a career working in various leadership position at McDonalds, according to his House biography. He also worked as an aerospace engineer. Hern is a member of the House Ways and Means committee and co-chairs the Small Business and Franchise caucuses.
Rep. Byron Donalds
The Florida Republican and Freedom Caucus member announced on X that he’s seeking the speakership to advance a “conservative vision for the House of Representatives and the American people.”
Donalds also received votes from the GOP’s far-right members in January as a protest to McCarthy.
He is serving his second term, winning his first election to Congress in 2020 after GOP Rep. Francis Rooney vacated Florida’s 19th Congressional District.
During his first campaign, Donalds described himself in an ad as a “Trump-supporting, gun-owning, liberty-loving, pro-life, politically incorrect Black man.”
The Florida State University graduate worked in the banking, finance, and insurance industries before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2016, according to his office.
Rep. Mike Johnson
The Louisiana Republican, who serves as the House Republican conference vice chairman, also announced a run for speaker in a letter to his Republican colleagues Saturday, saying “After much prayer and deliberation, I am stepping forward now.”
Johnson was first elected to the House in 2016. He also serves as a deputy whip for the House GOP and was previously chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
Johnson sits on the House Judiciary Committee, Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government and on the House Armed Services Committee.
This story has been updated with additional developments.