Local Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-23rd) may become the next House Majority Leader in the scramble to replace outgoing Virginia representative Eric Cantor who was defeated this week in his GOP primary by Tea Party candidate Dr. David Brat.
McCarthy serves as House Majority Whip and Cantor said on Wednesday that he’ll back the conservative republican as the “most logical heir” if he were to seek the post. Texas republicans Pete Sessions and Jeb Hensarling are also contenders for the job. Henserling is said to be McCarthy’s most formidable challenger. If McCarthy runs for and gets the promotion, he’ll be the most influential local congressional representative on Capitol Hill as veteran Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon will retire from Congress at the end of the year.
House republicans may prefer that the shakeup be concluded sooner rather than later. That’s because Speaker John Boehner and his allies want a resolution with minimal disruption before the midterm elections in November. If McCarthy wraps up support early, this could coincide with the “establishment” flank of the party in getting their own win thereby countering the Tea Party.
Possible replacements for McCarthy may include Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois.