Zinke Drops Potential Bid for House Speaker; Announces Support for Ryan

Zinke announced early Wednesday that he was fully supporting Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan

By Beacon Staff & Associated Press
U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke holds a town hall meeting at FVCC in Kalispell on April 2, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke has pulled his name from consideration for the Speaker of the House and is supporting Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan for the top Republican leadership position.

Zinke, who said last week that he was considering a bid to replace John Boehner, announced early Wednesday that he was fully supporting Ryan, who is debating a run.

“I’m all in for Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House,” Zinke said in a statement. “Paul is a leader who has proven his dedication to conservative values time and time again, and I believe he is the best person to unite the American people and lead us into a brighter future. I am humbled by the support I received from Montanans and folks across our country. One thing is clear, the mission is greater than any one person, and only by working together will be advance the cause of freedom and American exceptionalism for future generations. I wholeheartedly and unequivocally support Paul Ryan for the next Speaker of the House.”

Boehner told Republicans Wednesday morning that the GOP will meet next Wednesday and vote on a candidate to replace him. The full House would then choose its new speaker on Thursday — if all goes according to plan.

Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, previously dismissed the notion of a speaker bid, saying he would prefer to stay on as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, which he’s described as his dream job. This week his tone has changed and he has urged his fellow Republicans to embrace him as their consensus candidate by week’s end or he won’t seek the job, the Associated Press report. The situation comes as the House dives into deeper chaos with deadlines on an unprecedented government default and the budget fast approaching.

Boehner said he was fairly confident the various factions would coalesce around Ryan.

“I think Paul is going to get the support that he’s looking for,” the speaker told reporters. “He laid out a very clear vision of how he would run the speakership. I thought the members responded very well to it.”

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