Alabama’s sixth district U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) officially announced his candidacy for Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives on Sunday, citing inflation, immigration, crime and a need for unity among Republicans as his leading motivations for pursuing the speaker position.

The five-term representative faces eight other Republican congressmen who qualified to run for speaker before the October 22 deadline. All nine will go before the House Republican Conference Monday at 6 p.m.

The conference meeting is expected to run through Tuesday before voting will begin.

A majority of the votes in the conference is needed to pick a Republican nominee for speaker. There is no rule requiring members of the conference to then vote for the nominee when the election goes to the full House, possibly on Wednesday.

“It is important that we have unity, that we all support the speaker candidate that is selected by our conference,” U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) said to 1819 News.

Palmer’s statement reads:

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The other eight candidates vying for the speakership include:

  • Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) Retired Marine General. Elected 2017. Watersmeet, MI on the upper peninsula.

  • Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla) ran for speaker against Kevin McCarthy in January, losing. Donalds is a die-hard supporter of former President Donald Trump, endorsing him in April over his own governor, Ron DeSantis. He refers to himself as a “Trump-supporting, liberty-loving, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment Black man.”

  • Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) is the Majority Whip, the third-ranking Republican. Former Speaker McCarthy has endorsed him.

  • Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) is the chairman of the GOP Study Committee with 170 GOP members of Congress.

  • Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) is vice-chairman of the House GOP Caucus.

  • Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Penn.) serves as vice chairman of the House Republican Conference.

  • Rep. Austen Scott (R-Ga.) is not well-known but ran against Jordan for the caucus speaker nomination, losing 124-81. He then supported Jordan on the House floor.

  • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) is the former chair of the House Rules Committee and a new member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.

The U.S. House of Representatives has been without a Speaker of the House since October 4. Very little business can be conducted in the House without a speaker.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had been removed by a majority vote of the U.S. House produced from a combination of all Democrats with eight Republicans. Since then, efforts to elect a new speaker have been unsuccessful.

The House Republican Conference, a majority of the House (but a bare majority), nominated Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) as their House speaker candidate. In private meetings with the members of his party, Scalise determined that he could not get enough votes to win an election for speaker and withdrew.

After that, the Republican Conference met and selected Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as the party’s candidate for speaker. Jordan did not achieve a majority in three ballots of the entire House.

All Democrats voted for their nominee, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), and several Republicans voted for various Republican congressmen, denying Jordan the majority required for the speakership.

A meeting of the GOP conference then voted to remove Jordan as the Republican nominee.

At this time, there is no Republican selection for speaker.

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at