House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made it clear on Wednesday that he wants to be the next Speaker of the House if Republicans retain control after the November midterm elections.
“I do not want to see Nancy to come back as speaker. I want the next speaker to come from California, but I don’t want it to be Nancy. I want it to be me,” McCarthy told Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., as reported by the Washington Examiner.
McCarthy is currently second-in-command in the Republican caucus in the House. His position is traditionally a stepping stone to the Speaker’s job, and current Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently announced his retirement from Congress at the end of the term.
However, there may be other candidates. Last month, Freedom Caucus founder Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on the Curt Schilling Show: “If and when there is a Speaker’s race, I plan on being part of that discussion.”
Jordan has been considered a potential Speaker ever since 2011, when he led conservative opposition to the Budget Control Act, a temporary fix to the debt ceiling crisis was steered through a contentious debate in Congress by then-Speaker John Boehner.
McCarthy was considered a potential candidate when Boehner retired in 2015. However, he withdrew his name from consideration after conservatives complained he was too moderate. Then-candidate Donald Trump said Republicans needed someone “tougher.”
Other potential candidates, such as Majority Whip Steve Scales (R-LA), have already said that they would not run if McCarthy is a candidate. Ryan himself backed McCarthy in April, telling NBC News’ Meet the Press: “We all think that Kevin is the right person.”
McCarthy, like Democratic caucus leader Nancy Pelosi — who hopes to regain the Speaker’s gavel this year — is from California. Pelosi is targeting seven Republican-held seats in California that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 as keys to Democratic victory.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.