Politics and Government

Minnesota's Emmer seeking House speaker nomination

Tom Emmer,Anthony D'Esposito,Steve Scalise
Minnesota GOP U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer speaks during a January news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Patrick Semansky | AP

Updated: Oct. 21, 10:50 a.m. | Posted: Oct. 20, 2:57 p.m.

Minnesota GOP U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer confirmed Saturday that he plans to seek nomination to be speaker of the House.

The speaker’s job has been vacant since former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy was voted out two weeks ago. Since then, other candidates have tried but failed to secure the votes needed to get that position.

“I'm running for Speaker of the House to bring our conference together and get back to work,” Emmer said in a social media post Saturday morning.

A Republican operative with direct knowledge confirmed to MPR News on Friday that Emmer had begun making calls to House GOP members around his bid for speaker.

No Minnesota congressional member has ever held a position that high in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Emmer, who was elected to Congress in 2014, is currently the No. 3 Republican in House leadership as majority whip. 

Before ascending to that role — the main vote wrangler for the Republicans — he led the GOP’s campaign efforts for two election cycles. 

He represents Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, which wraps around the outer rings of the northern and western Twin Cities suburbs, and up toward St. Cloud.

Two of Emmer’s Republican colleagues from Minnesota, Rep. Pete Stauber and Rep. Brad Finstad expressed their support for the lawmaker.

“In January, our Conference elected Congressman Emmer to be our Majority Whip — a position in which Tom has shown profound leadership,” Finstad said in a statement. “Whether it’s across Minnesota or across the country, Congressman Emmer has the trust and respect necessary to lead the People’s House. I am happy to support him for Speaker.”

Stauber cited Emmer’s role as a friend and mentor to him.

“The American people deserve a Congress that works for them, and it is my sincere hope that we can elect a Speaker next week and resume the important work our constituents sent us here to do,” he said.

But Emmer’s road to a potential speakership could also be bumpy. Donald Trump has signaled his opposition to Emmer, according to media reports.