WASHINGTON — The political anarchy among U.S. House Republicans could be coming to an end, as U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., announced Tuesday that he would run for speaker of the House if all warring GOP factions agree to back him, according to a source present at the meeting where Ryan revealed his intentions.
In effect, Ryan has put the onus on House Republicans to elect him, rather than running a conventional leadership campaign.
Many see Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, as the one candidate who could bridge a coalition between moderate and hard-line Republicans in the House. And with his announcement, it is all but certain that efforts among the Texas delegation to run for speaker will be tamped down.
U.S. Reps. Mike Conaway of Midland, Bill Flores of Bryan and Michael McCaul of Austin have reportedly been mulling bids. Flores, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is the one most openly campaigning for the job so far.
With 25 Texas Republicans in the House, the state delegation is seen as having a major role in helping select the leadership. But with multiple Texans reportedly mulling runs for speaker, some are worried that the Texas voting bloc will splinter, hurting the state's clout in playing kingmaker.
Delegation members have insisted that they will stay united.
Conaway and Flores are both on the record with The Texas Tribune saying they won't pursue a run if Ryan does.
The general consensus on Capitol Hill is that the speaker's gavel is Ryan's to lose. But there was a similar sense when House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pursued the speakership, only to surprise Capitol Hill when he pulled out of the running.