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Alabama U.S. Rep. Palmer seeking to become Speaker of the House

Palmer is a fifth-term congressman who has represented Alabama’s 6th Congressional District since 2014.

Congressman Gary Palmer at a congressional hearing. (CONGRESSMAN GARY PALMER'S OFFICE)

On Sunday, U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Alabama, threw his hat into the ring of Republican congress members seeking to become the next Speaker of the House.

Palmer is a fifth-term congressman who has held the seat representing Alabama’s 6th Congressional District since 2014. Candidates seeking to become speaker had until noon Sunday to declare their intention to run. Palmer announced his candidacy for Speaker of the House just ahead of the noon deadline in a surprise decision, along with eight other candidates.

Later Sunday evening, Palmer made a post on X, formerly Twitter, with a statement declaring his candidacy and reason for running for speaker. Palmer states that he can provide “authentic” leadership and the ability to unite Republicans.

“The American people are desperate for authentic leadership, leaders who will work to move the nation forward,” Palmer said in his statement. “As Republicans, we must show a contrast. There is a distinct difference between our vision for a prosperous and strong America and the vision of the Democrats that has done so much harm. This is why I decided to step forward in the race for Speaker of the House. To do what I can to put our differences behind us and unite Republicans behind a clear path forward, so we can do our job for the benefit of the American people.”

Palmer is the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, making the No. 5 ranked Republican in the House, according to the New York Times. Palmer also sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. Palmer is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus.

Nine total candidates, including Palmer, are vying to become the next speaker of the House. The other eight candidates include Byron Donalds, R-Florida; Tom Emmer, R-Minnesota; Kevin Hern, R-Oklahoma; Dan Meuser, R-Pennsylvania; Austin Scott, R-Georgia; Pete Sessions, R-Texas; Jack Bergman, R-Michigan; and Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana.

The role of speaker became vacant following the historic removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, nearly three weeks ago. Since McCarthy’s ouster, two candidates, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have each failed in their bids to become the next speaker of the House.

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Monday night Republicans will hold a closed-door forum to hear from each of the nine candidates. Then, on Tuesday morning, Republicans will have an internal secret ballot vote to determine the candidate who will represent the party as they seek to become speaker. A floor vote could be held as early as Tuesday following the internal vote.

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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