With the retirement of House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Republicans are searching for a replacement if they manage to keep control of the House following the 2018 midterms. Rep. Rob Bishop is being mentioned as a possible compromise candidate.
Time Magazine reports the frontrunner right now is California Republican Kevin McCarthy, but there are lingering questions about his candidacy since he dramatically dropped out of the Speaker’s race in 2015. Other names being thrown around as possible candidates include Reps. Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan.
As a compromise, some Republicans have mentioned Bishop as a “transition” candidate because it may be difficult for any candidate to round up the 218 votes needed to win the job.
Another name could be Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah lawmaker and former NRA lobbyist who says if he wins in November it will be his last term. If the GOP is looking for a transitional figure to steer the party through the 116th Congress—when all eyes will be on the White House races—it could do worse than select a Mormon from a safe district.
When reached for comment, Bishop’s spokesperson Lee Lonsberry told UtahPolicy.com, “While my boss is flattered to be included in these conversations, and it certainly shows how respected and effective he is in Congress, but he is certainly not seeking the Speakership.”
Bishop has announced he will serve one more term in Congress if he wins re-election in 2018. The Cook Political Report ranks CD1 as the 14th “most Republican” district in the country. President Donald Trump carried the district by 22-points in 2016.
No Utahn has ever sat in the Speaker’s chair in Congress. Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz ran for Speaker after John Boehner stepped down in 2015. Chaffetz later dropped out of the race and threw his support behind Paul Ryan.