Calif. Rep. Kevin McCarthy has been chosen by House Republicans to be their next majority leader, taking the place of Rep. Eric Cantor, who was defeated in a stunning primary upset earlier this month.
McCarthy, currently the party’s whip, defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative with close ties to the Tea Party, in a secret ballot for the position.
House GOP lawmakers have yet to vote on a replacement for McCarthy for the No. 3 post. Reps. Peter Roskam of Illinois, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, are all in contention.
McCarthy, 49, has been in Congress since 2007 and was a close ally of Cantor’s.
The Associated Press writes that “McCarthy moved quickly to line up the votes for majority leader in the wake of Cantor’s defeat at the polls in Virginia, deploying an organization developed since he became whip more than three years ago when Republicans took control of the House.”