House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is back in the race for speaker after Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., who the conference selected earlier this week, ended his bid for the job Thursday night.
Republican lawmakers are meeting behind closed doors Friday morning trying to hash out a way forward.
Jordan is now the only declared candidate in the race — but it is not a done deal for him yet.
Reps. Austin Scott, R-Ga., and Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., are committed to voting against Jordan on the House floor for now.
“Look, if you listen to Kevin McCarthy’s words, he said he doesn’t want to be nominated, but he’s also said he was willing to abide by the will of the conference. It’s time for the conference to draft Kevin McCarthy,” Gimenez said on Fox Business on Friday morning. “We need our speaker back, and we need to move forward with the business of America.”
However, Jordan reportedly spoke with holdouts against him between Thursday night and Friday morning’s meeting.
Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., who told reporters she was opposing Jordan on Thursday night, suggested on Friday she was just leaning against him. “I’m gonna listen to the rules change part, and I’ll make my decision,” she said.
Jordan scored another valuable endorsement on Friday morning in Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s campaign arm.
“We must unite behind one leader with the integrity, the ability and the vision to lead us. I believe Jim Jordan is that leader,” Hudson said.
Before discussing new speaker candidates, House GOP lawmakers huddled to decide whether to change Republican conference rules to raise the threshold needed to elect a candidate for speaker.
Scalise had won by a simply majority on Wednesday before dropping out on Thursday night.
Most of Jordan’s allies were for the rules change as of earlier this week, and many of them continued to support him despite Scalise being chosen.
However, all four amendments were tabled on Friday, giving Jordan an easier path to victory in the conference.
Moderate Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., suggested on Thursday night that choosing Jordan would be “rewarding” people who further pushed the House GOP into chaos. He did not commit to voting for Jordan at the time.
“We had a lot of members today said they’d only vote for Jim. That bothers a lot of us. It’s not really Jim’s fault. But it bothers because you reward bad behavior. And so we pretty much have to grapple with that,” he said.
Jordan spokesman Russell Dye told Fox News Digital that the Judiciary chairman was confident.
“Jim Jordan is the only person who can unite the conference and get 217 votes to become speaker,” he said.
Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report