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Ear to the Ground

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy On Track to Become House Majority Leader

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Posted on Jun 12, 2014

United States Congress

Outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor may have an incoming successor already. Just a day after Cantor, reeling from Tuesday’s loss to tea party rookie David Brat in the Virginia primary, made plans to evacuate his No. 2 post in the House at the end of July, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy was drumming up support to take over his spot.

And according to the Los Angeles Times, it looks like McCarthy will pull it off yet:

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) is all but assured of becoming the next House majority leader after a lawmaker considered to be a strong conservative challenger declined Thursday to run in the internal GOP race.

The affable McCarthy, now the No. 3 Republican in the House, is by no means the top choice among tea party lawmakers who believe the current leadership is tied too closely to the party’s establishment wing. But the path for his ascent to the No. 2 spot seemed to clear Thursday as the potential challenger, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, said he would not seek the post.

The leading contender has a key ally in another big player from the House GOP ranks, Rep. Paul Ryan, who has backed McCarthy’s bid to fill Cantor’s seat.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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