Among the Republicans who voted against Representative Kevin McCarthy of California for Speaker of the House are some of the chamber’s most far-right legislators. Most of those who denied the 2020 election are members of the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus, or both. Here’s a closer look at the 20 legislators.
Anna Paulina Luna
12 denied the results of the 2020 election.
More than half of lawmakers who voted against Mr. McCarthy explicitly denied the results of the 2020 election, compared to about 15 percent of the 222 total members in the Republican caucus, according to a DailyExpertNews analysis. These Republicans said the election was stolen or rigged — or that Donald J. Trump was the rightful winner — even though Joe Biden garnered seven million more votes and 74 more voters than Mr. Trump.
“President Trump won that election,” said Florida’s Anna Paulina Luna, one of five newcomers who opposed McCarthy’s speaker offer. Representatives Matt Gaetz of Florida and Andy Biggs of Arizona, who have emerged as leaders against Mr. McCarthy’s bid, have also called the 2020 election stolen.
Nearly all lawmakers who voted against Mr. McCarthy issued statements casting doubt on the 2020 election, often repeatedly, similar to the overall Republican caucus. At least 180 of the 222 House Republicans have questioned the 2020 election, according to The Times analysis.
19 are associated with the Freedom Caucus.
Most lawmakers who voted against Mr. McCarthy — at least 95 percent — are members of the House Freedom Caucus or were recently supported by its campaign arm. In contrast, about one-fifth of all House Republicans are estimated to be part of the caucus, founded in 2015 and considered one of the most right-wing groups in the House.
In the third round of voting on Tuesday, all 20 lawmakers who defied Mr. McCarthy voted instead for Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio. Mr Jordan, who himself voted for Mr McCarthy, is a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and has repeatedly cast doubt on the 2020 election.
In the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, held Wednesday, the same 20 lawmakers voted for Florida Representative Byron Donalds, also a member of the Freedom Caucus, instead of Mr. McCarthy. Mr. Donalds joined the group on the third ballot and endorsed Mr. Jordan after voting for Mr. McCarthy on the first two ballots, and then for himself on subsequent ballots.
Almost all incumbents were ‘objectors’.
Fourteen of the 15 incumbents who voted against Mr. McCarthy were among the 139 House Republicans who voted on January 6, 2021, to overturn the 2020 Electoral College results. By comparison, less than two-thirds of sitting Republicans in the House were objectors.
17 were endorsed by Trump in 2022.
At least 85 percent of lawmakers who voted against Mr. McCarthy endorsed Mr. Trump before the 2022 midterm elections, a larger share than the 67 percent in the Republican caucus as a whole.
Yet these lawmakers were steadfast in opposing Mr. McCarthy, despite Mr. Trump’s support for the California Republican, whom he has dubbed “My Kevin.”
Where do they come from
Nearly half of lawmakers opposed to Mr. McCarthy represent districts in three states: Texas, Arizona and Florida.
Mr. McCarthy failed to win the speakership even after the six votes. On the fourth ballot, he lost the support of another Republican – Victoria Spartz of Indiana, who voted present after initially supporting Mr. McCarthy.