Love, Bishop among ‘dark horse’ GOP candidates to be next House Speaker

Reps. Rob Bishop and Mia Love are getting some run among Washington insiders as possible “dark horse” candidates for Speaker if Republicans retain control of the House following the 2018 midterms.

The Hill reports that a small group of House Republicans have begun to discuss what would happen if either of the frontrunners, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy or Majority Whip Steve Scalise, cannot get the 218 votes needed to win the speakership next year. 

“What happens if nobody can secure enough votes for Speaker?” said one of the participants. “It’s a legitimate question; it’s not about being disloyal to Kevin McCarthy.”

“This is headed to a chaotic climax. I don’t think it will be as clean as we’re being told it is,” the source said, noting that members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are not involved in the discussions. “There are some Plan B meetings taking place.”

The group has come up with 10 possible candidates if either McCarthy or Scalise stumble in their quest to become Speaker. That list includes Bishop and Love.

Another name that surfaces is Rep. Rob Bishop, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and former Utah Speaker of the House who is a stickler for process and “regular order.”


Bishop has said that he will leave Congress after 2020, when he’s term-limited as head of the Natural Resources panel.


But that could make Bishop, a Mormon and former National Rifle Association lobbyist, an appealing transitional figure to lead the GOP if there is no clear front-runner.


Bishop, known around the Capitol for his dry humor, joked that there were others who would become Speaker before himself.


“If I were running, the country would have to be in really, really bad shape,” Bishop said, though he acknowledged that some Republicans have tried to recruit him to run to help fix the broken legislative process, which he said “sucks.”


“I’ve basically dismissed it because I anticipate it will be an easy transition,” he added. “I still expect McCarthy to easily get the number.”

No woman has ever risen above the #4 spot in GOP leadership, but Love could change that.

One of those young guns is Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), a rising star who is also seen as someone who could potentially swoop in to lead the GOP.


The 42-year-old became the first black Republican woman elected to Congress, and since arriving on Capitol Hill she hasn’t been afraid to stand up to her party.


Love, who is Haitian-American, slammed Trump for calling Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries.” She also joined an insurgent group of Republicans in signing a discharge petition this year to circumvent leadership and force floor action on immigration legislation.