Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) circulated a letter Monday saying that if Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) stays out of the race for Speaker of the House, Flores will throw his own name in the hat, according to CNN.
Flores, the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, declared he would run for Speaker of the House if Ryan does not.
“Congressman Flores is planning to run for speaker. However, if Congressman Paul Ryan runs, he will step aside and support him,” said Flores’s aide Andre Castro.
CNN reported, “Last week, Flores told reporters he was ‘praying and consulting’ over whether to run for speaker. But he said then that ‘Paul Ryan would be the dream speaker.'”
Only Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)—backed by the House Freedom Caucus—and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) are the only official candidates for Speaker of the House. Chaffetz has said if Ryan got into the race, he would back Ryan.
Ryan has been back home thinking about whether or not to run for Speaker of the House but hasn’t come to a decision yet. However, several reports suggest Ryan may not get the threshold 218 votes in support, which was the same issue Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) faced prior to withdrawing from the race.
Flores’s Republican Study Committee has more than 170 members, which would help whomever the group supports reach the threshold 218 vote to become Speaker of the House. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the current Majority Whip, previously chaired the committee.
However, Flores’s Republican Study Committee has been said to be the reason the House Freedom Caucus was formed by conservatives who felt the committee became too cozy with the establishment.
“Some members involved in the formation of the splinter group contend it will be in direct competition with, and in direct response to, the RSC, which many conservative lawmakers believe has become too large and too cozy with GOP leadership,” Roll Call previously noted.