With the sudden resignation of U.S. Rep. John Boehner as house speaker and the equally sudden withdrawl of Rep. Kevin McCarthy of his candidacy for the role, the House of Representatives finds itself with an immense vacuum to fill with seeming no one willing to take on the challenge. The Republican majority is currently awash with in-fighting between its establishment and the more conservative and vocal elements of the party.
The preferred candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, says he has no interest in the position. Ryan was probably the only representative who could garner the 218 House votes needed to take on the role.
One of the names being bandied about as an interim House Speaker is Oregon’s 4th Dist. Rep. Greg Walden. Former Michigan U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers touted Walden as a possible candidate during an Oct. 8 interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
“One great candidate would be Greg Walden the head of the committee responsible for electing the conference of Republicans into the majority. He’s been doing that for a few years. He knows every member; he knows the districts; he knows there are challenges. He knows their political bent and he’s a seasoned hand which was missing in this leadership election. He’s been around a long time,” Rogers said.
Walden’s communications director, Andrew Malcolm, said in a phone interview Walden currently supports Ryan for the Speaker role.
“Greg thinks that Paul Ryan would be a terrific Speaker of the House, that he could certainly unify our conference,” said Malcolm. “Greg believes that he is an articulate communicator, has incredible policy depth, and cares deeply about the future of this country.”
Malcolm added Walden would consider running for the position if the conference asked him.
“Greg has always been willing to step in and serve Oregon and the country when needed. That being said, he has several big jobs already: representing the Second District, chairing the Communications and Technology panel, and chairing the National Republican Congressional Committee,” Malcolm said.