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In this June 11, 2014, photo, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., leaves House Speaker John Boehner's office on Capitol Hill in Washington. McCarthy’s knack for helping colleagues get elected and his ability to maintain a personal connection have given him the advantage in the race for House majority leader, despite calls by some Republicans for a new, more conservative direction. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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GOP Rep. McCarthy elected House majority leader

  • Associated Press
  • June 19, 2014 - 2:32 PM

WASHINGTON — House Republicans have made the first change in their leadership since Majority Leader Eric Cantor unexpectedly lost a primary election last week. They've elected California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to replace him in the No. 2 job.

The 49-year-old McCarthy has been GOP whip, the No. 3 post, and his election Thursday was anticipated. He defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative who has often battled his own party leaders and said voters want change in Washington.

McCarthy came to Congress in 2007 and has climbed rapidly through his party's leadership ranks. He's a close Cantor ally.

House Republicans will also choose a new whip to replace McCarthy. That's a hard-to-predict contest between Reps. Peter Roskam of Illinois, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana.

© 2014 Star Tribune