Sixth district U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) was one of nine Republican congressmen who qualified by the noon ET deadline of October 22 to run for U.S. Speaker of the House.

There had been no indication before now that Palmer was considering a run for the vacant seat.

Palmer, a Republican from Hoover, serves as the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, making him the fourth-ranking member of the GOP caucus. He joins these Republicans running:

  • Jack Bergman (MI)

  • Byron Donalds (FL)

  • Tom Emmer (MN)

  • Kevin Hern (OK)

  • Mike Johnson (LA)

  • Dan Meuser (PA)

  • Austin Scott (GA)

  • Pete Sessions (TX)

All candidates will go before the House Republican conference on Monday at 6 p.m. ET. The conference, composed of all GOP congressmen, is expected to meet into the night Monday and possibly into Tuesday.

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

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

The House Republican caucus, a majority of the House (but a bare majority), nominated Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) as their House Speaker candidate. In behind-the-scenes meetings with the members of his own 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 after 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, thereby 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.

Here is information on the nine candidates:

  • Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) is the chairman of the House Budget Committee.

  • 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. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) Elected in 2015.

  • 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.

This information will be updated on as information is forthcoming.

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor.

You can reach him for comments at