Tom Emmer shines as House Republicans voted to no longer back House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan as their Speaker nominee.
This decision followed Jordan’s third unsuccessful attempt to secure the gavel with 217 votes.
The House finds itself in a state of flux, with several GOP members now vying for the role, while others contemplate joining the race.
The nominee ultimately chosen will be the third within a mere 17 days, after a historic vote ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Amidst this tumultuous environment, one of the potential contenders for the role of House Speaker is House Majority Whip Tom Emmer. Here’s what you need to know about this seasoned politician.
Time in the Minnesota House of Representatives
Before his election to the United States Congress, Tom Emmer served three terms as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011.
During his tenure in the state office, Emmer actively participated in various committees, including Finance, Health Care, and Human Services Policy and Oversight, and the State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology, and Elections.
In 2009, he decided to run for governor, even securing an endorsement from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
His gubernatorial campaign garnered national attention due to a controversial donation from Target to a political action committee supporting his candidacy, which led to widespread protests.
Despite a closely contested race, Emmer lost to his Democratic opponent Mark Dayton by less than a percentage point.
Two Terms Running the NRCC as a Member of the House
Tom Emmer entered the race for Minnesota’s sixth district after former Rep. Michele Bachmann vacated her seat.
He received endorsements from various conservative groups, including the Tea Party Express, Young Americans for Liberty, and many Minnesota legislators. In the general election, he emerged victorious, earning 56 per cent of the vote.
Following this win, Emmer went on to serve two terms as the Chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) from 2019 to 2023.
During his tenure, he played a crucial role in shaping the Republican agenda and strategies for congressional elections.
Elected as House Majority Whip
After Republicans gained control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections, Tom Emmer threw his hat into the ring for the position of House Majority Whip, a role previously held by Steve Scalise.
As the Majority Whip, Emmer’s responsibilities include assisting party leadership in bringing the party’s bills to the House floor, counting votes on key legislation, and maintaining communication between leadership.
Tom Emmer expressed his enthusiasm for the role, stating, “It is an honour to be entrusted by my colleagues with the role of Majority Whip.
Now the hard work begins. It’s time to unite our conference and deliver on our promises to the American people.”
Drawing from his experience as a former hockey coach, he likened the Whip position to “the best coaching job” he’d ever had.
Emmer has proven to be a unifying force, committed to bringing together GOP members to work collaboratively and achieve their promises to the American people. His office has also become a significant gathering place for Republicans as they’ve navigated internal divisions.
Tom Emmer’s Speaker Bid
In the wake of the Republican conference’s decision to bypass Jim Jordan for Speaker, numerous potential candidates have emerged.
Among them, Tom Emmer stands out as a strong contender. Reports suggest that he has been making calls to explore the possibility of a Speaker bid, which could position him as a frontrunner for the role.
His experience in leadership races and his ability to garner support could play to his advantage in the race for Speaker.
Endorsements from McCarthy and Buck
Even before officially declaring his candidacy, Tom Emmer received a substantial boost to his prospects.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy endorsed Emmer as his successor, lauding his ability to unite the conference and understand the dynamics of the GOP.
McCarthy noted that Emmer’s track record demonstrates his capacity to secure and maintain a majority in the House. Additionally, Emmer received support from another GOP ally, Rep. Ken Buck, who chose to cast his vote for Emmer on the House floor, refusing to back Jim Jordan.
While Tom Emmer’s prospects look promising, the race for Speaker is still wide open. Members have until noon on Sunday to file their candidacy, and the final outcome remains uncertain.
As the House grapples with this significant decision, the nation watches with anticipation to see who will assume the role of Speaker and lead the Republican Party in the House of Representatives.