Duncan not targeted over speaker vote

U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan

Upstate congressman Jeff Duncan apparently won't be immediately targeted for retribution after going against House Speaker John Boehner's re-election.

Duncan, R-Laurens, who represents the 3rd District, has not received notification he was being removed from any committee assignments or other duties, his office said Thursday.

Duncan voted for fellow S.C. Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy for speaker, even though Gowdy was not running and had no open interest in the job.

Other conservatives who took part in the attempted coup against Boehner, R-Ohio, quickly found themselves on the outs. U.S. Rep. Dan Webster of Florida, who was one of the leading Boehner opponents, did not get enough support to mount a credible challenge. He was subsequently removed from the Rules Committee.

Florida Rep. Rich Nugent, who also voted for Webster, also was removed from his committee duties. Twenty-five Republicans in the House voted for someone other than Boehner.

Duncan explained his vote in a Facebook posting. "I voted for Trey Gowdy both because he was one of the most frequent names I heard from constituents and because we need someone with his tenacity leading the Republican Party in the House forward," he wrote.

"Americans are tired of business as usual in Washington and they want bold leadership that will move our country in a new direction. I felt that it was time for a change, and that change needed to start with a new Speaker."

Duncan said his hope was to force a second ballot on the House floor in the notion "that one of the stronger conservative candidates would then decide to run."

"I'm obviously disappointed that we fell short of the votes needed to accomplish our goal, but I do think that the effort was worthwhile," he said.

Duncan sits on panels including Natural Resources, Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs. He is subcommittee chairman on the Western Hemisphere, on Foreign Affairs.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551