GOP Rep. Carlos Gimenez, who voted for Rep. Kevin McCarthy as speaker during the last vote, said he would never vote for Rep. Jim Jordan but would consider voting for other candidates.
“I think we need to move forward as a conference and find somebody that we can all coalesce around,” Gimenez said.
On Jordan, Gimenez said, “his tactics certainly didn’t work on me. Actually, I became more cemented in my position.”
“You don’t push people into leadership that I have to follow you. I’ll follow you if you’re a leader,” he added.
While Gimenez said Jordan never threatened him with a primary challenge, he wouldn’t say whether others had made that threat, which he said he was not afraid of. He said his office had received a lot of calls insinuating that he was supporting Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries which he said was not true.
Gimenez said the votes against Jordan were higher than he expected — going into the vote he thought the “no” votes would hover around seven. At the end of the vote, 20 Republicans did not vote for Jordan.
He warned that if Republicans cannot unite behind a candidate soon for speaker, he’d vote to empower Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry to have more power.
Gimenez said he would continue to vote for McCarthy.
“I’m not going to be part of a coup,” Gimenez said. “I don’t know why we’re settling. We should go back to what we had. He was a great speaker, really good for our conference, had worked to build our majority here, and was working to build an even greater majority.”