On Friday, John Boehner (R.-Ohio) announced that will be stepping down as Speaker of the House and resigning from Congress at the end of October. Boehner ascended to the speakership in 2011, when Republicans regained the House after four years in the minority. He previously served as House majority leader from 2006 to 2007 and minority leader from 2007-2010.
It hasn’t been an easy road for Boehner. He’s been locked in a seemingly constant battle with President Obama, and yet he has been viewed as too conciliatory by many on the right, especially regarding his reluctance to use hardline tactics on issues like the Iran nuclear deal, defunding Planned Parenthood, and funding for the Affordable Care Act.
At a time when most Republicans are fixing their gaze beyond the Capitol to figure out who can take back the White House for the GOP in 2016, the party now has to contend with filling Boehner’s shoes, and fast. While no one has officially announced their candidacy for the spot yet, here are three potential replacements for the well-tanned man from Ohio:
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.)
McCarthy is likely the safest pick. He’s currently serving as the House Majority Leader, meaning he’s already managed to win an election among his party-mates in the House. Reuters is already reporting that McCarthy is the most likely candidate. McCarthy has been in the House since 2007 and quickly rose in the leadership ranks within his caucus. He’s staunchly pro-life, but some more conservative Republicans will likely view him as an extension of Boehner’s establishment brand. 2012 Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, another establishment candidate, has already ruled himself out, clearing the way for McCarthy.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio)
Here’s where the more conservative members of the House may find their savior. Jordan has a history within the Tea Party. He won his fifth term in 2014, and has previously advocated for strong-arm tactics to fight back against the White House’s agenda. He was a leader in pushing for the 2013 government shutdown over Obamacare. For Republicans who want to use that tactic as a sledgehammer against President Obama (and possibly Hillary Clinton in the future), Jordan might be a logical choice.
Rep. Tom Price (R.-Ga.)
Price currently chairs the House Committee on the Budget and sits on the Ways and Means Committee, meaning he has the chops and experience to handle what is certain to be a difficult series of budget negotiations with the White House in the coming weeks. He’s also a member of the Tea Party Caucus. In a Republican party clearly split between obstructionist Tea Party supporters and establishment politicians who are more likely to negotiate, Price could find support on both sides.