- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 4, 2015

Two Republicans announced this weekend that they would challenge Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio for the top Republican spot in the House.

“We have heard from a lot of Republicans that said, ‘I would vote for somebody besides Speaker Boehner.’ But nobody will put their name out there,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, who announced a challenge to Mr. Boehner, said Sunday on “Fox and Friends.” “That changed yesterday with Ted Yoho,” the first man to announce a challenge.

Rep. Ted S. Yoho, Florida Republican, announced Saturday that he would toss his hat into the ring to run for Speaker of the House.

“Our vote for a new speaker is not a personal vote against Rep. Boehner — it is a vote against the status quo,” Mr. Yoho wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “Our vote is a signal to the American people that we too have had enough of Washington politics, and that we will stand with the American people.”

Mr. Boehner, who has served as speaker since 2011, has faced backlash from the more conservative wing of his caucus for accepting the $1.1 trillion spending bill that avoided a government shutdown before lawmakers left for a holiday break. Far-right Republicans have also been critical of Mr. Boehner for not punishing the president swiftly or seriously enough for what they see as an overreach of his power in recent executive actions.

Mr. Gohmert, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, is among the chamber’s most conservative members.

Several conservative members have already said they’d vote against Mr. Boehner, including Rep. Thomas Massie, Kentucky Republican.

It’s not just lawmakers who’d like to see Mr. Boehner stripped of his gavel. A Caddell Associates poll released last week shows that the majority of Republican voters want to see their member of Congress elect a new leader of the House.

Thirty-four percent of those who voted for a Republican in the last election said they “definitely” want someone other than Mr. Boehner to lead the party, and 26 percent said they “probably” want a new speaker.

Only 11 percent said they definitely want Mr. Boehner to keep his title.

Rep.-elect Barbara Comstock, Virginia Republican, said Sunday that she would vote for Mr. Boehner to keep his gavel.

“I expect that’ll move forward pretty smoothly,” she said on CNN.

• Jacqueline Klimas can be reached at jklimas@washingtontimes.com.

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