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Bridenstine leading cheers for effort to sack Boehner as speaker

WASHINGTON _ Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a Tulsa Republican, is cheerleading for the effort to replace Rep. John Boehner as speaker of the House.

Since Friday, the soon-to-be sophomore has issued four separate press releases about his opposition to Boehner and the alternatives to the Ohio Republican, who has been speaker for the past four years.

Bridenstine, who had the backing of Oklahoma tea party groups when he won his first race in 2012, appears to view Boehner as an accomplice _ rather than a rival _ of President Barack Obama when it comes to government spending.

Bridenstine was among about a dozen Republicans who voted against Boehner when the last Congress began. In 2013, Bridenstine voted for then-Rep. Eric Cantor, who was upset in his reelection bid last year.

According to Bridenstine, the anti-Boehner movement will be in double digits on Monday. According to a story in Politico, Boehner would have to lose the support of 29 Republicans.

So far, Texas Republican Louie Gohmert and Florida Republican Rep. Ted Yoho have announced that they’ll challenge Boehner. Bridenstine said he could vote for either of them.

“Louie has a great understanding of the legislative process and the fortitude to challenge the leftist agenda of President Obama,” Bridenstine said.

“We now have two great candidates willing to challenge the status quo … Republicans should feel free to vote their consciences and the desires of their districts,” Bridenstine said.

“As Congressman Gohmert said in his announcement, if nobody gets 50%, we build consensus for a second round candidate. To be clear, (California Democrat) Nancy Pelosi cannot win. She would need to get 50% of the vote and Republicans control 57% of the House. No Republicans will vote for her.

“In my opinion, this vote is between continuing the status quo or moving in a new direction. Members of Congress now have two good choices, neither one including a vote for the status quo.”

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›