Michigan’s Bergman is officially running for House speaker

Jack Bergman, a four-term Michigan U.S. Rep., announced Friday that he is officially seeking nomination as speaker of the House Republican Party after Ohio’s Jim Jordan lost the designation earlier in the day in a closed door vote.

The House Republican Conference held a secret ballot vote at the Capitol after Jordan, who led the Judiciary Committee and was known for his flame-throwing, lost the third ballot in the House on Friday morning, with 25 of its GOP members rejecting him.

Bergman, who is 76 and from Watersmeet, has stated that he will only serve as speaker for the current Congress session, since the House of Representatives is now in its third week of being without a Speaker. He emphasized the importance of funding the government and the U.S. Military, and condemned “useless arguments and infighting.”

Late Friday, he received the endorsements of most of Michigan’s GOP delegation: U.S. Reps. Tim Walberg and John Moolenaar from Tipton; Lisa McClain from Bruce Township; John James from Shelby Township.

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Bergman stated in a press release that “my hat is in, and I am confident that I can win votes where others couldn’t.” “I am not in this for any special interest; I only want to do what is best for my nation and steady the ship of the 118th Congress.”

In a press release, His Office said that the retired U.S. Marine Lieutenant General is not beholden by any faction of his Party and is “widely regarded on both sides of aisle for his expertise in national security, his understanding of the nation’s economic crisis and his demonstrated ability to work with both members of either party.”

Bergman stated that “what we need now is a speaker who can work with the American people and put aside ego to achieve a common goal.” “We need a Leader who is willing to give up permanent power, and understands the current leadership crisis. I am ready to serve. “We can win the election together and end the deadlock.”

Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the third-ranked Republican in the House, is expected to join or has already declared his candidacy. The No. 3 House Republican, as well as a number of committee leaders, including Reps. Jodee Arrington from Texas, who chairs House Budget, and Mark Green from Tennessee, who heads the Homeland Security Committee, are also expected to jump in.

Members and staffers also mentioned Reps. Kevin Hern, of Oklahoma, as the chair of the Republican Study Committee, Mike Johnson, of Louisiana, the vice-chair of the GOP Conference, Austin Scott, of Georgia, and Byron Donalds, of Florida, a House Freedom Caucus member.

On Monday night, a candidates’ forum will be held on Capitol Hill. The House Republicans will then vote privately to elect a speaker who has a majority in the conference.

Bergman argued, in a posting on X (formerly Twitter), that the House should remain for the weekend and make a final decision.

He tweeted: “We must lock ourselves up in a small room to elect the 56th speaker of the House.”

Bergman is a Vietnam vet who retired in 2009. He currently sits on the House Armed Services panel, Veterans Affairs and Budget. He has been a commercial pilot for an airline and operated a medical supplies business.

Bergman represents Michigan’s 1st district, which includes Traverse City and the Upper Peninsula. He was one of three Michigan Republicans to vote against the certification of Arizona and Pennsylvania’s electoral college votes for 2020 after the January 6th insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

Bergman previously backed Jordan as speaker.

Thursday, the House Republicans were trying to resolve their differences when lawmakers considered giving the House’s interim speaker, Rep. Patrick McHenry, of North Carolina, more power. For now, the proposal has been dropped.

Kevin McCarthy, a Californian Republican, has been the House’s speaker since more than two week after a group of conservative Republicans teamed up with all House Democrats in order to remove him.