House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) says he wants to have a fresh face in charge, so he decided to drop out of the race for Speaker of the House.
“We’ve been going through this campaign talking to a lot of members,” McCarthy said, “We’re servants, we should put this conference first.” McCarthy will stay on as Majority Leader.
“If we are going to unite and be strong we need a new face to help do that,” he told reporters. “I feel good about the decision.”
“I think we’re only going to be stronger,” he added.
“We had our conference and there’s calls into the district, I don’t want voting for speaker a tough one,” he explained, saying the best thing for the party is to have 247 votes on the floor, “got to be 100 percent united” to be strong.
The new date for the election for Speaker of the House to replace John Boehner at the end of the month has not been set.
McCarthy’s office released a complete statement:
I have the deepest respect and regard for each Member of the Conference and our team as a whole. It is imperative for us to unite and work together on the challenges facing our country. Over the last week it has become clear to me that our Conference is deeply divided and needs to unite behind one leader. I have always put this Conference ahead of myself. Therefore I am withdrawing my candidacy for Speaker of the House. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues to help move our Conference’s agenda and our country forward.