Last Updated on January 3, 2023
U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) fell well short in his attempt to again become U.S. Speaker of the House after 19 House Republicans voted against him on the first ballot. McCarthy could only afford four defectors, meaning he faces significant obstacles in overcoming the challenge on following ballots. Among the 19 Republicans who voted against McCarthy were five freshman members of Congress: Andy Ogles (TN), Keith Self (TX), Josh Brecheen (OK), Eli Crane (AZ) and Anna Paulina Luna (FL).
A group of five members of the House Freedom Caucus have for weeks stated that McCarthy would face upwards of 20 “no” votes on the first ballot, a prediction that has come to pass. 10 of McCarthy dissenters voted for U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), while Jim Jordan (R-OH) — who is supporting McCarthy — received a handful of votes for himself. Jim Banks (R-IN), Byron Daniels (R-FL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) each received a single vote.
A number of “no” voters had hinted as such in recent weeks, though they stopped short of giving a definitive answer. Others came as a bit of a surprise, including U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), who voted for Zeldin.
A notable development on the first ballot was the number of newly elected, freshman members who voted against McCarthy. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida had previously stated that McCarthy “threatened” her if she dared to cross him in his bid for Speaker, making her vote a bit less of a surprise.
Another freshman dissenter was U.S. Rep. Keith Self of Texas, who is replacing Van Taylor in Texas. Taylor faced significant criticism in his primary race against Self and others over his vote for the January 6 committee, which proved very unpopular in his reliably red district.
The full list of Republican McCarthy dissenters includes: