Republicans in Congress have picked Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson as their House Speaker nominee over a North Texas Republican and other lawmakers.
North Texas congressman Roger Williams, a Willow Park Republican, announced Tuesday he was putting his name in the running for the leadership role. Ultimately, Johnson won the nomination following a series of three votes late Tuesday, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik announced.
Johnson is the fourth person House Republicans have tapped as speaker-designate since former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was booted from the role. Johnson would need 217 votes on the House floor to win the race and be elected speaker.
Williams had been weighing a run, but on Saturday said he was sitting out of the speaker race, which has been the subject of Republican infighting over who should lead the U.S. House of Representatives.
On Tuesday, Williams opted to run for speaker after all, after Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota dropped out of the race. Emmer’s exit came hours after being picked as the conference’s nominee. It was clear he wouldn’t be able to get the votes of Republican holdouts, to according to NPR.
Strefaik announced the latest list of speaker candidates in a social media post late Tuesday afternoon, which included Williams and Johnson, as well as Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. Hern dropped out before voting began, according to Roll Call.
Williams’ name appeared on the first two ballots late Tuesday as Republicans narrowed down the candidate list, but by the third and final ballot, the vote was between Donalds and Johnson, Stefanik said in a post on X, previously called Twitter.
Williams, in a statement announcing his bid, touted his works on tax cuts, aiding small businesses and border security.
“We are now in the fight of our lives, to save our country, and I believe our country requires someone who will stand up to the Biden Administration, who will bring conservatives together, and put America first!” Williams said in the statement shared on X. “For over 52 years, I have run a successful small business back home in Weatherford, Texas, where I have seen how the strong hand of the government hurts all Americans.
It is time a conservative businessman stands up to put the country back on track. I have always put America first and will never back down from the fight we were sent here to do and because of this, after further speaking with my colleagues, my family, and God, I have chosen to seek the conference’s nomination for Speaker of the House.”
Williams, a longtime owner of car dealerships, represents District 25, which covers much of the area between Arlington and Abilene and includes Callahan, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hood, Jack, Johnson, Palo Pinto, Parker, Stephens, Tarrant and Young counties.
He was first elected to Congress in 2012 and is chairman of the House Committee on Small Business.
He serves on TCU’s board of trustees and played and coached baseball at the university in Fort Worth. Some wanted him removed from board position after he voted against certifying Joe Biden’s electoral votes following the 2020 election.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.