WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- It appears that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will become the youngest speaker in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1869 on Thursday.
House Republicans overwhelmingly nominated Ryan in a closed-door vote Wednesday. He received 200 nominating votes from the House Republican Conference -- and his only real competition, Florida Rep. Daniel Webster, received 43.
Ryan, the House Ways and Means Committee chair, said last week that he was willing to lead the House as speaker only if the party united in his support. While that support has not been unanimous, it has been largely concerted.
The full House is expected to officially elect Ryan as speaker during a floor vote Thursday morning. He needs 218 votes to win the post -- but that should be an easy task since he already received 200 in the GOP private vote.
Further, some Republicans who voted for Webster are expected to switch their votes to Ryan now that he's the party's formal nominee.
"He said, 'I don't plan to be Caesar,' deciding the fate of everything from the Speaker's office, calling all the shots," Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., a Freedom Caucus leader who is supporting Ryan.
At 45, Paul Ryan would become the youngest speaker in the chamber since 1869.
Ryan will replace Ohio Republican John Boehner in the leadership post once he departs on Friday. GOP members hope Ryan can heal the fracturing and infighting that has occurred within the Republican party in recent months.