Fractured Louisiana House GOP holds closed-door, non-binding House speaker vote

Louisiana News

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A majority of Republicans in the Louisiana House have voted to back a Livingston Parish lawmaker for the chamber’s top job.

Rep. Sherman Mack, a lawyer from Albany, won a majority of the votes in a closed-door meeting held by the House Republican delegation Friday, the delegation announced in a statement.

But it’s unclear if that non-binding vote changes the competition for speaker, with multiple Republican candidates vying for the position.

Attorney General Jeff Landry and U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, two of the state’s top GOP leaders, have called on the House delegation to unite behind whichever candidate had the most support from Republicans in the chamber. If the 68 GOP members of the 105-member House voted as a bloc, they could determine the speaker without needing input from Democrats.

However, not all the Republicans have pledged to take that approach — at least for now.

The formal vote for House speaker takes place on Jan. 13, after lawmakers are sworn in at the start of the new term. The House speaker has significant sway over the fate of legislation, choosing how to assign bills and picking the leaders and members of each committee in the chamber.

House Republicans had disagreed about whether they should even take the closed-door vote.

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