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It’s Bracket Time — Which Member Can Pass the Competition and Shoot to the Top Spot?

While much of the nation is preoccupied with a certain college basketball tournament kicking off today, Roll Call is doing its best to remain focused on Congress. But even we can’t help filling out a bracket — though ours is a bit different. With the assistance of our readers, Roll Call is going to find the best candidate for Speaker of the House.

Our Selection Committee convened this week to pick the eight entrants (watch for the bubble Members to compete in the Pro Tem Invitational Tournament). Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have not been selected because they are natural successors to the job. Your task is to vote for the winner in each first-round contest. Next week, we will fill in the Final Four and ask you to pick the winners again. Three weeks from today, we will reveal Roll Call readers’ choice for the next Speaker. Watch out, Denny Hastert.

The rules are simple. While this week there are no interparty skirmishes, we ask you to disregard party affiliation throughout the tournament. Just pick the winners based on the merits.

E-mail your vote for the winner of each matchup to

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