RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCNB) — On day two of voting Wednesday, North Carolina’s representatives in the U.S. House held firm.
For the next Speaker of the House, all seven democrats continued in each round to vote for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Six republicans, who hold the majority, continued to vote for Kevin McCarthy. The seventh North Carolina Republican, Dan Bishop, continued to vote against him.
Mitch Kokai with the conservative and Raleigh based John Locke Foundation doesn’t see Bishop’s stance on McCarthy changing.
“I think Bishop and those who were among those who won’t vote for McCarthy are saying look we need something completely different we need someone who’s going to be leading the House in a much different way than what we’ve seen in the past,” said Kokai.
As some well-known names, like Steve Scalise, are tossed about as alternatives to McCarthy one name emerging in political circles is North Carolina congressman Patrick McHenry.
“I think Republicans who are in the establishment would support a Patrick McHenry if it comes to that, but I think he also appeals to some of the folks who are outside of that establishment who could remember Patrick McHenry’s early days,” said Kokai.
First elected in 2004, McHenry came on strong as an outspoken western North Carolina conservative. In more recent years his approach has been less aggressive in public and more nose to the grindstone to move the Republican agenda forward.
“So, I think if Patrick McHenry’s name arises as the candidate who is put forward by the largest group of Republicans it will be very interesting to see if he can capture most if not all of those 20 renegade votes,” said Kokai.
So far McHenry has supported McCarthy as speaker.
Kokai does not think dragging this on for days or weeks would be good for the country or the party — a party that will still have to negotiate with a democratic senate and president.
“If they can’t unite around a Speaker and unite around an agenda then that will be a wasted opportunity for them to tell the voters what it is they would do if Republicans had enough control to make a difference,” he said.