House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is currently leading Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., in public endorsements in what’s still a tight race for the next House speaker.
Jordan and Scalise are the only two formally declared candidates in the race. House Republicans are huddling behind closed doors on Monday evening before holding a speakership candidate forum on Tuesday and an intraparty election on Wednesday morning.
Only about a third of House GOP lawmakers have made public endorsements so far. Jordan has the support of at least 47 Republicans while at least 23 backed Scalise. The vast majority have remained silent.
It’s by no means a done deal – Jordan still has an uphill battle to lock up the support of moderates, some of whom are put off by his association with the hardline-right House Freedom Caucus and his “bomb-thrower” reputation.
Despite that, however, his support is not all tied to the right flank. Problem Solvers Caucus member Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., endorsed Jordan for speaker, as well as moderate Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D.
But one House GOP source pointed out that there are members who also do not want to publicly speak out against Jordan’s candidacy for fear of reprisal in the 2024 primaries from the Freedom Caucus-linked House Freedom Fund PAC.
Scalise, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s longtime No. 2, is backed by his fellow member of House GOP leadership, Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn. He’s also being backed by both establishment Republicans and conservatives, but it’s not clear yet if he can win over Republican lawmakers tired of the status quo. McCarthy was ousted from the job last week.
Sources close to Scalise told Fox News Digital they feel good about where they are in the race.
Scalise is also a more prolific fundraiser than Jordan – his re-election campaign ranking second behind McCarthy in the 2022 cycle with more than $18 million in donations.
His 2022 re-election campaign also gave more than $14 million to the House GOP’s campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
But the Judiciary chairman is not far behind – his campaign was the fourth most effective fundraiser in the 2022 cycle, bringing in just over $14 million. During that time he also gave nearly $2 million to the NRCC and Republican allies.