What to know about Rep. Tom Emmer, the Minnesota Republican nominated for House speaker

Gun Rights

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer is House Republicans’ latest nominee for speaker of the House.

Emmer won a majority of votes in the Republican conference on Tuesday, three weeks after Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s historic removal.

Emmer’s political career spans 20 years and multiple offices and leadership positions.

Who is Tom Emmer?

Emmer is a 62-year-old resident of Delano, Minnesota. He and his wife, Jacquie, have been married for more than 30 years and have seven adult children — six boys and one girl. He is also a former Division I hockey player for the University of Alaska.

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What is Emmer’s background?

Before his political career, Emmer was an attorney with his own law firm. He also served on the city councils for Independence and Delano.

READ MORE: Minnesota congressmen Dean Phillips, Tom Emmer enter national spotlight

What is Emmer’s political background?

Emmer was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2004 and served there until 2010, when he ran for governor. He lost that race to Democrat Mark Dayton by fewer than 9,000 votes.

In 2014, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in Minnesota’s 6th District, succeeding former Rep. Michelle Bachmann. He was reelected in 2018 and 2022.

He was named chair of the Republican National Congressional Committee in 2019 and elected as majority whip in 2022.

According to WCCO’s Esme Murphy, Emmer sleeps in his Congressional office instead of renting an apartment.

In the latest batch of House speaker candidates, Emmer was one of only two who voted to certify the 2020 presidential election results. Emmer has supported former President Donald Trump in the past, though he did not earn Trump’s endorsement for speaker. Emmer has been repeatedly endorsed by anti-abortion rights groups and holds an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. 

Where does Tom Emmer represent?

Emmer represents Minnesota’s 6th district, which spans parts of central and eastern Minnesota. It includes portions of Anoka, Benton, Carver, Hennepin, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties. 

How did Emmer become the House speaker nominee?

Before McCarthy’s ousting, Emmer said he fully supported the former speaker and had “no interest in palace intrigue,” despite his name being floated as a replacement.

Emmer originally backed Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana as McCarthy’s replacement and said he intended to run for House majority leader. When bids by Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio failed, Emmer entered into contention.

Emmer became the speaker nominee after five rounds of secret ballot voting by the House Republicans conference on Tuesday. He received 117 votes to Rep. Mike Johnson’s 97.

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