With Wednesday’s announcement by House Speaker Paul Ryan that he would not be seeking reelection, speculation is heating up as to who will replace him. Bakersfield native and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is among the top of the list from congressional observers, and now his strongest contender has gone on record that he would not run against McCarthy.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise made that assertion Thursday to Fox News, reinforcing speculation that McCarthy will step up to the speakership.
However, CNN reported Scalise is preparing for the possibility McCarthy does now want the job, and is likely to run in that case.
McCarthy previously ran for House Speaker in the wake of former speaker John Boehner’s retirement in 2015, but abruptly dropped out of the race, saying it was best to have a new face in the position in order to unite conservatives.
If elected to replace Ryan, McCarthy would become second-in-line to the Presidency.