McCarthy drops out of house speaker race
October 8, 2015
Republican California Congressman Kevin McCarthy has withdrawn from the race to become speaker of the house despite being the leading candidate for the position.
McCarthy made the announcement Thursday shortly before House Republicans were going to vote on their nominee for the next speaker. The vote was then postponed.
Last month, House Speaker John Boehner announced he would resign at the end of October. That left McCarthy, who is the current majority leader, as the leading candidate to fill the role.
But, some conservative House Republicans have opposed McCarthy’s candidacy. The opposition within his party may have prevented McCarthy from winning the speaker election.
“If we are going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to help do that,” McCarthy said Thursday.
McCarthy said he would stay on in his role as majority leader.
McCarthy’s district includes Bakersfield and most of Kern and Tulare counties. Prior to redistricting, he represented much of North San Luis Obispo County.
Last year, McCarthy moved up in rank from house majority whip to majority leader after then-majority leader Eric Cantor lost a Virginia primary election. Cantor lost to a Tea Party candidate in the primary.
McCarthy was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2006. He became one of the quickest politicians ever to achieve the rank of majority leader.
Prior to getting elected to Congress, McCarthy served in the State Assembly from 2002 to 2006. He was California’s Senate minority leader from 2004 to 2006.