by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ryan told lawmakers Wednesday he plans to finish his term and remain speaker, eliminating the need for immediate leadership elections.
Republicans are also waiting to see if they hold onto the House majority in November, which will determine whether they need to pick a new speaker or minority leader.
The dynamic means the fight for leadership is poised to simmer behind the scenes for the next few months, allowing lawmakers to quietly lobby for support among rank-and-file without any official announcement.
As is typical, the leading contenders to replace Ryan are his top lieutenants, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. House Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan confirmed last Friday he is considering a run to replace Paul Ryan as House speaker.
“Paul Ryan’s the speaker. There is no speaker’s race. If and when there is, I’m open to running,” Jordan, an Ohio Republican, told the Washington Examiner.
McCarthy allies on Thursday urged Ryan to quit early so an immediate successor can be elected.
Ryan, hours later, rejected the idea, arguing the House GOP needs a stable, intact leadership team to lead it into the midterm elections. Ryan said he has helped bring in more fundraising dollars for the party than any speaker in history.