It’s official: Pending the general election on the House floor Thursday, Paul Ryan will be the next speaker of the House.
In the Republican conference election that ended just moments ago, Ryan managed a sweeping victory with 200 votes. Florida representative Daniel Webster, who once held the endorsement of the House Freedom Caucus, pulled in 43 votes. Kevin McCarthy and Marsha Blackburn tallied one vote apiece. The vote was conducted by secret ballot.
“This begins a new day in the House of Representatives,” Ryan told reporters after the vote. “John Boehner served with humility and distinction, and we owe him a debt of gratitude. But tomorrow we are turning the page.”
South Carolina representative Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House’s select committee on Benghazi, delivered the nominating speech for Ryan. He centered his remarks on a message of unity, noting that Ryan was the GOP’s best bet for bridging cross-caucus divides. “Maybe we should be the ones to define conservatism instead of some blogger who’s never held office,” Gowdy said, per a source inside the room.
Florida representative Bill Posey spoke on behalf of Webster.
The general election will take place on Thursday, followed by a victory party for Ryan at the Library of Congress from 6 p.m.–9 p.m.