Last Updated on January 5, 2023
Several Republican members of the Arizona House of Representatives have signaled support for the 20 U.S. House Reps. who continue to vote against Kevin McCarthy. Of the six Republican members of Arizona’s federal House delegation, Reps. Biggs, Crane and Gosar have voted against McCarthy on all eight ballots, while Reps. Schweikert, Ciscomani, and Lesko continue to support McCarthy.
Arizona Rep. Cory McGarr had called on the Arizona delegation to reject McCarthy weeks before the Speaker battle formally began on January 3, arguing that a change to the status quo was needed. “The next Speaker of the House needs to be somebody who conservatives can trust and must be openly committed to ending two of Nancy Pelosi’s corrupt rules of the House,” then-State House-elect McGarr said last month.
“Pelosi’s changes to the rules are more reflective of a dictatorship than a representative Republic, and it’s time we restore order in the House. Any candidate for Speaker who refuses to accept these terms should be disqualified from consideration, and I am calling on Representatives Andy Biggs, Eli Crane, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko, and David Schweikert to vote against McCarthy for Speaker on January 3.”
Biggs had long indicated that he would oppose McCarthy for Speaker on January 3. He was later joined on day one of voting by Rep. Paul Gosar and freshman Rep. Eli Crane.
McGarr has continued to call on the remaining Arizona Republicans to abandon McCarthy as voting continues through its ninth ballot. “I am so proud of @EliCraneAZ for fighting for his constituents and not falling in line with the party bosses,” McGarr wrote on January 3.
— Cory McGarr (@CoryMcGarr) January 3, 2023
In addition to McGarr, a number of Arizona Freedom Caucus members have called on pro-McCarthy members of the federal delegation to change course. “It’s a horrific disgrace that there are only 20 Congressmen who are not bought & paid for by the swamp,” wrote Arizona Rep. Jacqueline Parker in a tweet Thursday.
In an additional tweet, she thanked Andy Biggs for keeping his word and encouraged Republicans challenging McCarthy to continue. Seems like the country is better off the longer Congress is paralyzed… Thank you for holding the line @andybiggs4az,” Parker wrote on January 4, tagging Biggs in the tweet.
— Rep. Jacqueline Parker (@electjacqparker) January 4, 2023
It’s a horrific disgrace that there are only 20 Congressmen who are not bought & paid for by the swamp. https://t.co/DtWKnnxbAO
— Jacqueline Parker (@electjacqparker) January 5, 2023
“If Kevin McCarthy was just better ‘candidate quality’ he would have won today,” wrote recently elected Arizona Rep. Austin Smith in a tweet. The tweet was in reference to a statement from GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who, like McCarthy, withheld key funding from America First/MAGA candidates.
“Everyone wants to drain the swamp till it’s time to do drain the swamp stuff,” he continued in an additional tweet.
If Kevin McCarthy was just better “candidate quality” he would have won today.
— State Rep-Elect Austin Smith (@azaustinsmith) January 3, 2023
“McCarthy wins Speaker if he promises to: 1 ) Release ALL documents related to Epstein 2) Stop all Ukraine money & use it to protect our own border 3) Release all documents in relation to the Hunter Biden laptop 4) Stop spending $ we dont have = Stop inflation!” wrote Arizona Rep. Leo Biasiucci. “But he won’t…”
McCarthy wins Speaker if he promises to:
1 ) Release ALL documents related to Epstein
2) Stop all Ukraine money & use it to protect our own border
3) Release all documents in relation to the Hunter Biden laptop
4) Stop spending $ we dont have = Stop inflation!
But he won't…
— Rep. Leo Biasiucci (@Leo4AzHouse) January 4, 2023
U.S. Reps. Schweikert, Ciscomani, and Lesko have thus far indicated that they will continue to support McCarthy, though the pressure on them from their own State House and voters continues to mount.
As of ballot #9, Kevin McCarthy still has not made any progress in his bid to become Speaker. A tenth ballot is possible on Thursday, or a possible adjournment.