Divided GOP nominates Jordan for speaker, raising hard-right figure

House Republicans on Friday nominated Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a far-right Republican and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to be their next speaker after he rejected a challenge from a mainstream conservative.

By a vote of 124 to 81, Mr. Jordan defeated Georgia Representative Austin Scott, an ally of ousted former President Kevin McCarthy, who had decided to seek the nomination just hours earlier. Mr. Scott actually presented himself as a protest candidate against Mr. Jordan.

But while Mr. Jordan won the contest, his bid for speaker continued to face serious challenges after several mainstream Republicans said they would not support him. It was a continuation of the bitter party feuds that had erupted in recent days and paralyzed the House.

The bid by Mr. Jordan, a co-founder of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus and a favorite of former President Donald J. Trump, came a little more than a week after a faction of his supporters ousted Mr. McCarthy, then refused to endorse the party’s chosen successor in the post, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who abruptly withdrew Thursday.

Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri called Mr. Jordan’s candidacy “unmovable.” Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska, who represents the district won by President Biden, said lawmakers were worried about bowing to the whims of members of the far right who refused to support Mr. Scalise.

“The fact is, if you reward bad behavior, you’re going to get more of it,” Bacon said.

If Mr. Jordan wins a majority in the House of Representatives, he would be second in line for the presidency, maintaining the remarkable rise of a rabble-rousing Republican popular with the party’s far-right base. His combative style and reluctance to compromise have plagued previous GOP speakers.

Mr. Scalise edged out Mr. Jordan during Wednesday’s intra-party contest by just 14 votes. But instead of consolidating his narrow base of supporters, Mr. Scalise began bleeding supporters almost immediately, as lawmakers from several factions said they had no intention of falling in line behind him. He dropped out of the race about 30 hours later.

Mr. Jordan and his supporters hoped to avoid a similar fate, but it was unclear whether he would be more successful in unifying the party.

Representative Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, a supporter of Mr. Jordan, acknowledged that there are Republicans who would not support him “because they don’t want to reward that kind of behavior.”

But he argued that Mr Jordan should not be judged by the behavior of his most ardent supporters and warned that winning a majority would be difficult for any Republican.

“I don’t think anybody has 217,” Armstrong said.

Some members, anticipating that the fight could drag on for weeks, also discussed giving Representative Patrick T. McHenry of North Carolina — the interim speaker whose role is primarily to hold elections for the president — more power to run the chamber while the standoff plays out. cannot solve.

Annie Carney, Catie Edmondson and Karoun Demirjian contributed to the reporting.

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