WASHINGTON, D.C. (WGHP) – One representative from the Piedmont Triad stands firmly among the stalwart obstacles to the election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as the next speaker of the U.S. House.

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) listens during the vote for Speaker of the House on the opening day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte), who as of this week represents an 8th District that includes Davidson and Montgomery counties, has joined forces with the most conservative members of the House, including Reps. Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Bob Good, Lauren Boebert, Scott Perry and  Andy Biggs, in their opposition to elevating McCarthy, who has served as minority leader for the past four years.

McCarthy was opposed by at least 19 Republicans who voted for various candidates in the three rounds. New Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies (D-New Jersey) easily won all three, with full Democratic support, but did not achieve the required plurality of all votes cast, which in the case of Tuesday is 218.

Bishop voted for Biggs of Arizona in the first round of selecting a speaker, then voted for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) in the next two. The remaining GOP votes from North Carolina went to McCarthy.

Bishop had represented the former 9th District since winning a special election in 2019 by about 3,700 votes after the courts threw out the election based on ballot harvesting by Republicans. He won re-election handily in 2020 and then in his new district this past November.

He voted against every bill passed by the House in 2022, is known as a staunch election denier and was named among the 34 members of Congress who exchanged text messages with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows before and during the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is seen following the Speaker vote during the first day of the 118th session of Congress on Tuesday (AP)

That was the first time in a century, since 1923, that the election of the speaker took more than one vote, and a new selection process will resume at noon, with neither McCarthy nor his opponents willing to back down and change course.

That certainly is the case with Bishop, who took to his Twitter account on Tuesday evening with a strongly worded statement that echoed the sentiment expressed variously by those who oppose McCarthy:

“I came to a broken and dysfunctional Congress to change it. Advancing the long-standing pecking order one notch has no prospect of doing that. Many don’t want to change it. I will.

“Kevin McCarthy is not the right candidate to be Speaker. He has perpetuated the Washington status quo that makes this body one of the most unsuccessful and unpopular institutions in the country. This is not about personality differences or who has ‘earned’ the position. It’s about serving the American people.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-Statesville)

“I will not be supporting the status quo.”

Who is next?

With McCarthy representing the “status quo” and having, by all accounts, made many concessions to his opposition, the question to be determined is whether there is an alternative candidate.

Jordan supported McCarthy in a speech on Tuesday and voted for him. Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has been mentioned. But so have two people with ties to North Carolina and the Triad.

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-Southern Pines)

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-Statesville), whose 10th District formerly included parts of the Triad, is the incoming minority whip and a close ally of McCarthy whose name has been mentioned. He told Punchbowl News that he was working to “come to terms with getting the 20 on board.”

Also mentioned randomly was Rep. Richard Hudson (R-Southern Pines), who now represents a 9th District that includes Randolph County. He also is the incoming chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee and voted for McCarthy.

Priorities being delayed

Another Republican from the Triad who supports McCarthy, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Banner Elk), who has represented the 5th District since 2005, was pretty clear in how she sees the situation and what the GOP’s priorities should be.

“Every minute that Kevin McCarthy is not Speaker is a minute we waste in not issuing a subpoena to Sec. Mayorkas to expose his dereliction of duty at the southern border,” she wrote on her Twitter account. “We made a commitment to the American people to act. We’d do well to follow through. Don’t stand in our way.”