House Republicans on Tuesday elected Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the No. 3 in the party, as their speaker nominee after five rounds of ballots that pointed to a precarious path forward.
The internal party election came after Republicans cast aside Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the second party nominee for speaker, who was unable to win the majority of votes needed to be elected to the top job.
Mr. Emmer, 62, has served since January as the party’s whip, responsible for counting and securing the votes to pass the speaker’s agenda. He was the highest-ranking Republican in the race, and has been endorsed by the ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
A mainstream conservative who voted to certify President Biden’s 2020 victory and supported a stopgap spending bill last month to avert a shutdown, Mr. Emmer has pitched himself as a unity candidate. Several hard-right conservatives, including a handful who voted to oust Mr. McCarthy, have signaled their support for the Minnesota Republican.
But he could still face trouble securing a majority of votes on the House floor, where just a small clutch of defectors could doom his election. Republicans emerging from the closed-door meeting on Tuesday said that an internal roll call vote showed that as many as 25 lawmakers said they would not support Mr. Emmer.
Representative Rick W. Allen of Georgia told CNN that he could not support Mr. Emmer because of his vote in 2022 in support of a bill codifying federal protections for same-sex couples.
And some hard-right Trump supporters outside Congress have sought to block Mr. Emmer from winning the speaker’s gavel, claiming he has been insufficiently supportive of former President Donald J. Trump.
A former college ice hockey player and coach, Mr. Emmer served two terms as the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.