Top GOP candidate: Boehner would be 'good' Speaker, Cantor would be 'outstanding'

A top GOP candidate for Congress suggested that he'd prefer that Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) over Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the next Speaker under a GOP-led House.

Scott Rigell, the Republican businessman challenging Rep. Glenn Nye (D-Va.) in Nov. 2's election, said at a meeting with Tea Party-ers over the weekend that Boehner would be an OK Speaker, but that Cantor would be an "outstanding" choice for the next GOP leader.

"I think John Boehner would be a good Speaker," Rigell told the meeting. "I think Eric Cantor would be an outstanding Speaker, and there may be some others that come along."

With just over three weeks until Election Day, Rigell is seen as being more likely than not to be able to cast a vote in that race for Speaker. The Hill's own midterm election poll found Rigell leading the freshman Nye by 6 percent, and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the contest as a "lean Republican" race.

Rigell isn't the first Republican candidate to be noncommittal on his support for Boehner.

Bill Flores, the candidate running against Rep. Chet Edwards (D) in Texas's 17th congressional district, said in August that he would "rather not answer that question" when asked if he'd be supporting Boehner for Speaker.

Rigell's affection for Cantor might be seen in the light of the second-ranking Republican's work on behalf of a fellow Virginia candidate.

But Rigell admitted that some "new dynamics" among the newly-elected Republicans could affect the race for Speaker.

"There could be quite a few new dynamics because of the number of freshmen," he said. "If some of these predictions hold true, it could make for maybe some flux there, and I just have to evaluate the different candidates, and make a decision that I think is best for America’s long-term interest."

For his part, Cantor has consistently said that he supports Boehner for Speaker if Republicans pick up the 39 or more seats they need to win back control of the House.