Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who shockingly toppled former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in a primary this summer, says he'll support John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerA time for war, a time for peace — and always a time to defend America Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Soleimani killing deepens distrust between Trump, Democrats MORE (R-Ohio) for Speaker.

Brat told The Hill he plans to vote for Boehner on the floor in January when the Speaker is elected by the full House for the new Congress.


"As of right now, yeah," Brat said. "I'm optimistic our leadership's going to move forward on the principles I ran on."

Despite his stunning upset of Cantor in June, Brat largely stayed quiet on the campaign trail since. Until now, he had declined to say whom he'd support for Speaker.

When asked the same question on Wednesday shortly before he was sworn in as a House member, Brat wouldn't answer and insisted he needed to go to his office to retrieve his Bible for the swearing-in ceremony.

Fresh off the GOP victories in last week's midterm elections, Boehner and the rest of his leadership team built up enough support to prevent any challengers. Even conservatives who stated they wouldn't support Boehner for Speaker — either as incumbent lawmakers or on the campaign trail — ultimately decided to support him for another term.

Brat noted that he doesn't know of anyone else who wants to run for Speaker in the 114th Congress.

"As of right now, there's no opposition," Brat said.

Still, Boehner encountered dissent from a few members when he was reelected by the House GOP Conference on a voice vote on Thursday.

Rep.-elect Jody Hice (R-Ga.) told The Hill he expressed opposition during the vote because he thinks there should be new leadership. 

"Throughout the district, I heard over and over and over they wanted new leadership," Hice said. Still, he acknowledged of Boehner's reelection, "I think the caucus has spoken."