WASHINGTON — House Republicans elected a new majority leader Thursday, choosing Kevin McCarthy, a Californian of moderate temperament who is likely to be more of a preserver of the status quo — he is a loyal lieutenant to Speaker John A. Boehner — than the conservative firebrand many from the party’s right flank had hoped to promote.
McCarthy’s ascension to the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives fills the sudden void in the Republican leadership left by Eric Cantor’s loss of his seat last week in a Republican primary. Cantor, a Virginian who was the heir apparent to Boehner, stunned the political establishment when he lost by more than 10 points to a Tea Party upstart and economics professor, David Brat.
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