Scalise Immediately Drops Out of House Speakership Race

( – Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise abruptly withdrew his candidacy for House speaker on October 12th and in so doing immediately threw his chamber back into what was already an ongoing stalemate between various factions within the GOP. The legislator’s withdrawal was not said to have been related to a personal scandal and most reports have suggested that his decision was for reasons of simple voting logistics.

Scalise’s choice to back out followed a private pre-floor vote meeting that was attended by his fellow Republicans, during which it became apparent that the lawmaker did not have enough backing to secure a final victory. The statistical anomaly came in spite of Scalise previously clinching the Republican Conference nomination.

“Clearly,” he said after withdrawing, “not everybody” was on board with his ascension to the speakership. Scalise said there were still “schisms” that needed to be resolved. The Louisianan declined to give a nod of endorsement to any of his colleagues but did say that he had not “cut any deals” with anybody.

South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman appeared to anticipate Scalise’s departure from the race. The Republican said he had not been surprised when his colleague from Louisiana chose to walk away from his pursuit of the House’s top spot. Norman had initially backed Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and said his endorsement of the House Judiciary chair would continue.

Outside of Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, whose candidacy most consider to be a formality, Jordan was the only other contender. Even with the possibility of other endorsements, the Ohio Rep. faces a number of holdouts. During last week’s GOP conference meeting, 55 Republicans were reported to have voted against him.

One House Republican reportedly told CNN that as of October 16th, Jordan’s candidacy is still hindered by about 40 “no” votes. According to the source, a best-case scenario for the lawmaker would still leave him about 20 votes short of the threshold needed for victory.

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