Boebert’s sudden nomination change for House speaker gains steam in anti-McCarthy camp — but nowhere else

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Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert’s, R-Colo., sudden nomination of Rep.-elect Kevin Hern, R-Okla., to be the next speaker of the House of Representatives gained small support among the 20 Republicans voting against GOP leader Kevin McCarthy in the ninth and 10th rounds of votes Thursday, which yet again failed to produce a majority for any one candidate.

But despite the increased support for Hern — who has voted for McCarthy throughout the speaker race — the size of the anti-McCarthy group remains the same in the deadlocked contest.

The conservative group objecting to the Republican leader is static at 20 votes, which on Wednesday coalesced around Rep.-elect Byron Donalds, R-Fla., who lost support to Hern as the voting stretched into its 10th round late Thursday. In the 10th round of voting, McCarthy won 200 votes to Donalds’ 13 votes while Hern’s support rose to seven.

Rep.-elect Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., was the only Republican to vote “present,” while Rep.-elect Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., received all 212 Democratic votes in the chamber. One Republican — Rep.-elect Ken Buck, R-Colo., a McCarthy ally — did not vote in the ninth or 10th round because he was traveling for a medical appointment.


Rep.-elect Lauren Boebert delivers remarks during the third day of elections for speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 5, 2023.
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Hern received just two votes in the eighth round of voting despite not being nominated — one of those from Boebert, who ultimately nominated the Oklahoma Republican in the ninth and 10th rounds.

“The colleagues that I brought with me to offer those 218 votes on the first ballot aren’t there anymore. It is not happening. And as it’s been said, we need to get to a point where we start evaluating what life after Kevin McCarthy looks like,” Boebert said during her speech nominating Hern.

Boebert had supported Donalds in previous rounds of voting, however, it’s unclear what prompted her sudden change.

Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma, speaks during a House Small Business Committee hearing on July 17, 2020, in Washington.

Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma, speaks during a House Small Business Committee hearing on July 17, 2020, in Washington.
(Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images)


The race for House speaker has not exceeded 10 rounds of voting since 1860, when the House needed 44 ballots to select a speaker. The only time since the Civil War that the House needed multiple rounds of votes to select a speaker was in 1923, when the chamber selected a speaker on the ninth ballot.

The House is set to begin an 11th round of voting Thursday evening.

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