Webster announces run for Speaker

Webster announces run for Speaker
© Greg Nash

Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) has declared his candidacy to replace Rep. John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFive GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups Veterans are left out of medical marijuana protections MORE (R-Ohio) as Speaker.

“My goal is for the House of Representatives to be based on principle, not on power,” Webster said in a statement. “Every Member of Congress deserves a seat at the table to be involved in the process. I will continue fighting for this to become a reality in Washington, and will be running for Speaker of the House.”

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Webster is the first Republican to announce he will run to replace BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFive GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups Veterans are left out of medical marijuana protections MORE, who stunned the political world on Friday by announcing he would resign from Congress at the end of October.

Webster — a former Speaker of the Florida House — unsuccessfully challenged Boehner for the gavel in January, drawing only 12 votes. He announced his candidacy just two hours before the vote, saying Tea Party conservatives had convinced him to run.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is widely seen as the favorite to win the Speaker’s gavel.

But several conservative Republicans have cautioned that McCarthy isn’t a shoo-in for the position.

“We have enough votes in the House Freedom Caucus to prevent anybody from being Speaker. We will be a voting bloc,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said Friday.

Boehner’s announcement comes amid a struggle between establishment and Tea Party Republicans in the House over whether to tie funding for Planned Parenthood to a government spending bill, a move that could cause a shutdown.