Political News

House GOP leadership elections to take place week after midterms

Posted October 30, 2018 1:39 p.m. EDT

— House Republican leadership elections will take place the week after the midterm elections, with the expected date to be November 14, two GOP aides confirm to CNN.

Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan announced in April that he would not seek re-election, paving the way for a contest in the top ranks of House Republicans.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the No. 2 House Republican, is currently viewed as the favorite to become the next top House GOP leader and has been endorsed by Ryan to be his successor.

Conservative Rep. Jim Jordan, a House Freedom Caucus leader, has announced his own bid for speaker. While he has support among some of the most conservative members and groups outside of Congress, he faces an uphill battle in winning the speakership, though he could help prevent McCarthy from obtaining the 218 votes needed to become speaker.

If House Republicans lose their majority, they will be electing a minority leader, rather than House speaker.

Holding the elections soon after the midterms could benefit McCarthy, as it gives Jordan less time to organize, though Jordan has been active since he launched his speaker bid in late July.

Democrats are set to hold their leadership elections later than Republicans, the week after Thanksgiving.

Politico first reported that November 14 has tentatively been selected as the date for GOP leadership elections.

Asked a Politico event Tuesday if he would endorse McCarthy's bid, Vice President Mike Pence declined to get involved.

"We'll just leave the decisions about leadership to the men and women who are elected to the Republican conference, but the President and I are absolutely committed to do everything in our power in every hour between now and when polls close on November 6 to make sure that they're voting for the next Republican speaker of the House," Pence said.

Jordan plans to run for a spot in House GOP leadership even if Republicans lose the House, a person familiar with his thinking told CNN earlier this month.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has signaled that he is also eying moving up the ranks of the House GOP conference, but has said he would not run against McCarthy.

Earlier this year, Scalise told Politico he wouldn't rule out a bid for speaker, saying, "Obviously, I've shown interest in the past at moving up." But he later said during an interview with Fox News that he "wouldn't run against Kevin," in reference to McCarthy.