Majority Leader Dick Armey, Majority Whip Tom DeLay and outgoing Speaker Newt Gingrich all endorsed Hastert.
No date has been set for the Republicans to formally choose Hastert, but leaders said the caucus was likely to meet Jan. 5.
Hastert, 56, a former wrestling coach and high school teacher in Yorkville, Ill., is a six-term House member now serving as the chief deputy whip. He was first elected in 1986 and is a member of the COmmerce Committee.
Hastert says he never sought to be House Speaker, but said in a statement it's his duty to serve if his colleagues choose him.
In a statement announcing his candidacy for the speaker's post, Hassert said, "If elected Speaker, I will make a particular effort to build bridges across the aisle, not just to pass legislation, but to ensure that common sense ideas and principles become law."
"There's no question that in a six seat majority our ability to work with all viewpoints and to listen to all members will be of the utmost importance. While at times we will disagree on certain issues, we must all remember that our foremost guiding principle is to do what's best for all Americans."
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