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Northern Michigan congressman says he's running for House Speaker

U.S. Congress
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
U.S. Congress

A Northern Michigan Republican announced he’s running for the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a statement Friday afternoon, U.S. Representative Jack Bergman, of Watersmeet, said his hat is “officially in the ring” after teasing his candidacy earlier this week.

The decision came after Ohio's Jim Jordan lost his third vote for the position Friday morning with 25 Republicans rejecting him.

The House is approaching three weeks without a speaker after Kevin McCarthy of California was ousted from the role in early October.

Bergman is a retired Marine lieutenant general and has overseen Michigan’s largest congressional district since 2017.

In his statement, Bergman said he’s “not beholden to any faction of any party, and has gained respect in Congress as a leader — within the GOP conference and also among moderate Democrats.”

“The regular functioning of the federal government can’t wait on useless infighting and arguments,” Bergman said. “What matters right now is choosing a Speaker in order to make sure that our government—and particularly our military—is funded, and that both our homeland and our critical allies are secure in this time of crisis.”

Bergman was among the Republicans who signed onto a lawsuit that attempted, and ultimately failed, to undermine the 2020 election results.

Other candidates are expected to vie for the Speaker’s job, and a forum is planned for Monday in Washington.

Bergman’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Callie Barr, a Democrat who is running to unseat Bergman in 2024, issued a statement of her own, calling the four-term incumbent a "divisive extremist who is only looking to pad his political resume."

Michael Livingston reports for IPR from the tip-of-the-mitt – mainly covering Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Emmet and Otsego counties.
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