Rep. Paul Ryan announced Thursday that he is officially running for speaker of the House, and he is likely to be elected next week.
“I never thought I’d be speaker,” Ryan said in a statement. “But I pledged to you that if I could be a unifying figure, then I would serve — I would go all in. After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as a one, united team. And I am ready and eager to be our speaker.”
The speakership would be a dramatic career twist for the Wisconsin Republican, who was his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2012 and has repeatedly turned down pleas from colleagues to run for the post. He thoroughly enjoys his policy-heavy role as the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
Ryan’s decision comes two weeks after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy pulled out of the race when it became clear he would face an uphill battle to the speakership due to opposition from conservative House Republicans.
Ryan has since been pressed from all corners of his party to run for the job, viewed by most as the only member commanding the respect needed to unify a fractured House Republican caucus.