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California's Kevin McCarthy a virtual lock for House majority leader
California's Kevin McCarthy a virtual lock for House majority leader

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 leadership race was triggered by the defeat of Rep. Eric Cantor in his primary in Virginia on...

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