Jim Jordan, a combative right-wing Republican, came up short in a vote on Tuesday to become the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but additional votes were anticipated that would wear down his rivals.
With 20 of his fellow Republicans voting against him, the Ohio legislator and staunch supporter of former President Trump received 200 votes, falling short of the 217 required to secure the position. Hakeem Jeffries, the party’s leader, was supported by all 212 Democrats.
It is not clear how many of those Republican opponents would hold firm in subsequent votes.
If he prevails, the Ohio lawmaker who has spent years fighting with leaders of his own party could end up in one of the most powerful jobs in Washington, putting him second in line for the presidency.
Republicans who control the chamber nominated Jordan as a replacement for Kevin McCarthy was ousted as speaker by a small group of his fellow Republicans on Oct. 3.
“He is a patriot, an America First warrior who wins the toughest of fights,” Republican Representative Elise Stefanik said as she nominated Jordan for speaker on the House floor.
But six Republicans voted instead for McCarthy and another seven voted for Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican whose own bid for speaker fell apart last week. Three Republicans voted for Lee Zeldin, who retired from Congress in January, and Republican Representatives Tom Cole, Tom Emmer, Thomas Massie got one vote each.