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Rep. Zeldin to back Ryan in House Speaker vote

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) speaks at a news

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) speaks at a news conference at Southold Town Hall in Southold, Sunday, March 8, 2015. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Washington - Rep. Lee Zeldin, who last week declined to endorse a candidate for House speaker, on Monday said he will support Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to win the post in a closed session of Republicans Wednesday and in a vote of the full House on Thursday.

Zeldin, the first-term Republican from Shirley, joins his veteran colleague Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford) in deciding to back Ryan, the former vice presidential candidate on Mitt Romney’s ticket in 2012 who had to be wooed to run amid the GOP crossfire.

“He’s going to get chosen this week, barring any shocking surprise.” Zeldin said on the Fox Business show Mornings with Maria Bartiromo. 

Pressed on whether he would black Ryan, Zeldin said, “Absolutely.”

His office confirmed in a statement on background: “Right now, he’s likely going to vote for him and will be monitoring the next few days very closely.”

On Fox, Zeldin said, “I think he’s going to do a really good job. I don’t agree with him on all of his positions, but I spent a few years in a state legislature before going to Congress, and I have never seen an official who commands more respect from his peers on both sides of the aisle, from the most conservative to the liberal members.”

Asked why, Zeldin said, "I think people respect his intellect.”

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