Steve Scalise, McCarthy’s longtime No. 2, announces bid for House speaker

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House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., on Wednesday announced his intent to run for speaker.

In a letter sent to Republican colleagues, Scalise referenced the 2017 congressional baseball game practice where he was shot and critically wounded, crediting the members of his conference for helping him get through.

‘I firmly believe this Conference is a family. When I was shot in 2017, it was Members of this Conference who saved my life on that field. When I made it to the hospital and my family was told my chances of surviving were low, it was the prayers from all of you that carried us through,’ Scalise wrote. 

‘God already gave me another chance at life. I believe we were all put here for a purpose. This next chapter won’t be easy, but I know what it takes to fight and I am prepared for the battles that lie ahead. I humbly ask you for your support on this mission to be your Speaker of the House.’

It comes after former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was ousted from the top job on Tuesday by a small number of GOP hardliners and all House Democrats.

A senior GOP aide told Fox News Digital on Tuesday night that Scalise could be a viable ‘frontrunner’ and much of the conference would be ‘open’ to his candidacy for speaker.

Scalise is McCarthy’s longtime No. 2, a partnership that has caused public friction between the two at times. In June, the two leaders publicly blamed each other when conservative hardliners protesting McCarthy’s debt limit deal with President Biden derailed legislative proceedings on the House floor.

But he’s already managed to snag support of key Republicans, including House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn. 

A source familiar with Emmer’s thinking confirmed to Fox News Digital that he is supporting Scalise for speaker while making his own calls to gauge interest in a possible run for majority leader himself.

Others have also jumped behind Scalise, like Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, who said, ‘For a time such as this… Steve is the right man to lead our country.’

Conservative Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., also said she would be supporting Scalise. 

‘Our next speaker should be someone with top-notch leadership skills and great experience. That someone is [Scalise], and I am proud to support him for speaker,’ McClain said.

Scalise is a member of the Republican Study Committee, whose chair, Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., is also giving the speakership serious thought. 

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was the first to announce his bid for the speaker’s gavel.

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