Three Florida GOP Reps. Vote ‘No’ on Speaker Jordan

Ohio Congressman and GOP speaker nominee Jim Jordan is facing long odds in his bid for the gavel, as 20 House Republicans voted to shoot down his candidacy on the first ballot Tuesday. Three of the votes came from the Sunshine State, with Reps. Carlos Gimenez, Mario Diaz-Balart, and John Rutherford joining the defectors.

Jordan would have needed 217 votes to win the Speakership on Tuesday. He received just 200. By comparison, House Democrat leader Hakeem Jeffries received 212. A second vote is expected to be held Wednesday morning.

Diaz-Balart, the longest-serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation, has been outspoken against the effort to elect Jordan as speaker. He has accused the Ohio Republican’s allies of mistreating Majority Whip Steve Scalise over his failed bid for the gavel. Diaz-Balart’s position marks a change from earlier this month when he told reporters that he was “a big fan” of both Jordan and Scalise. On Tuesday, he joined Rutherford in voting for Scalise.

Rutherford previously pledged that he would not support Jordan for Speaker, citing personal grievances with fellow Florida congressman Matt Gaetz.

“I’m a no on allowing Matt Gaetz and the other seven to win by putting their individual in as Speaker,” Rutherford told reporters last week.

In a tweet, Gaetz said, “I hope he gets some feedback from Floridians that this is selfish and bad for the country. By contrast, removing McCarthy was both popular and just given his lies and broken promises.”

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Gimenez–who cast his vote Tuesday for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy–has distinguished himself as one of the most vocal opponents of Jordan’s candidacy. In an interview with NBC News, Gimenez accused the Jordan camp of using intimidation tactics and said he would be a hard ‘no’ against his bid.

“That’s really kind of disappointing but also concerning to me because, if that’s how he becomes speaker, that’s the way he is going to get his policies through,” Gimenez said. “He will intimidate you, or his follower will intimidate you, into doing something you may not want to do. I, for one, am not going to fall for it.”

Last week, Gimenez said he planned to support McCarthy,

“I think Kevin McCarthy is the one that needs to lead our party. And hopefully he will realize that for the good of the conference, for the good of the Congress, for the good of the country, he needs to put his name back in.”


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Last week, U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Pinellas County expressed frustration at the Republican holdouts, tweeting, “You guys want to go 15 rounds?”

“Bring it.. because from the calls I’m getting, they are asking me what’s going on. I have an infant son and I spent the last week up in Washington trying to figure this out while members of Congress LEFT.”

One Florida GOP Congressman, Gus Bilirakis, was absent from Tuesday’s Speaker vote to attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. He has previously pledged his support to Jim Jordan. He is expected to cast his vote in the second round of voting.

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