Stefanik, N.Y., has the endorsement of former President Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Calif., and Rep. Steve Scalise, La., House Republican Whip.
Stefanik and Roy are expected to address their caucus during a candidate forum Thursday evening. A closed-door vote is set for Friday morning.
On his way into the forum, Roy said they need to “not rush this process for the sake of doing it,” and that they need, “enough time for people to, you know, decide if they want to run and get into the mix and so forth – but if we’re gonna have the vote tomorrow, then I’m running.”
Trump immediately weighed in on Roy’s bid. “Can’t imagine Republican House Members would go with Chip Roy—he has not done a great job, and will probably be successfully primaried in his own district. I support Elise, by far, over Chip!”
Stefanik objected to the certification of President Biden’s election in the House after the Capitol riot died down, but Roy did not.
Stefanik had been running unopposed for the No.3 leadership spot after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyo., after she repeatedly called out President Trump for his unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him.
Earlier Thursday, Stefanik said she “absolutely” has the votes to replace Cheney.
A major topic at the candidate forum is likely to be complaints from some in the Republican conference that Stefanik – a staunch Trump defender whose supporters also include the former president and Donald Trump Jr. – isn’t conservative enough.
Stefanik voted with President Trump less often than Cheney did during the former president’s tenure, according to FiveThirtyEight, and she has rather low voting scores from the American Conservative Union and the conservative group Heritage Action.
Stefanik said Wednesday she is working proactively to address concerns from some members, largely members of the Freedom Caucus, like Roy, about her past votes.