Two top North Carolina House Speaker contenders have dropped out to endorse Rep. Destin Hall, R-Caldwell, in a move likely to unite most House Republicans. Axios first reported the news.
Reps. John Bell, R-Wayne, and Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, will be backing the current Rules Chairman to replace outgoing House Speaker Tim Moore, who is widely expected to run for Congress in North Carolina’s new 14th district.
Hall was reportedly leading the way in the race for Speaker, with Bell following closely behind. Saine also had support but was well behind the other two.
Rep. Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort, has also said he is running for Speaker. Although it is now a two-man race between Hall and Kidwell, Kidwell does not currently have anywhere close to the support needed to win.
The Republican caucus will vote on the Majority Leader and Conference Chairman positions—however, Hall, Bell, Saine, and Rep. Brenden Jones, R-Columbus, announced the following slate of leadership positions on the Do Politics Better Podcast:
- Speaker of the House: Destin Hall
- Rules Chairman: John Bell
- Lead Appropriations Chairman, Conference Chairman: Jason Saine
- Majority Leader: Brenden Jones
Bell, who would hold the second most powerful position in the House, has been the longest-serving House Majority Leader in state history.
“We’re friends here, and there’s no point in continuing on a battle like that,” Hall told Axios Wednesday night. “It makes for a stronger, united caucus down the road if you’re on the same page.”
Hall, Bell, and Saine each interviewed with the Carolina Journal in their bids to become House Speaker earlier this year.