Race to replace Boehner upended
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Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) shocking loss Tuesday night has upended the race to replace Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The majority leader was widely expected to succeed Boehner either in 2015 or within the next several years. But now, Boehner’s replacement is anyone’s guess.
There are no shortage of contenders.
Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) – The affable majority whip is next in line, though he’s only serving his fourth term and has not been able to corral the votes on high-profile bills. Yet, McCarthy is popular and well-liked by his colleagues, and that goes a long way in leadership battles.
Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) – The Financial Services Committee chairman has not ruled out a bid for Speaker, and he would have a lot of built-in support from the loyal Texas delegation. Still, Hensarling has served in the leadership team before, and some GOP members have said he didn’t seem to enjoy it. Regardless, the political stock of Hensarling — who has clashed with Cantor — received a huge boost with economics professor David Brat’s victory over the majority leader Tuesday night.
Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) – The 2012 vice presidential candidate has said he wants to become Ways and Means Committee chairman next year, which would likely preclude him from running for the White House in 2016. Ryan has indicated he’s not interested in running for Speaker, but Cantor’s loss could change his thinking. GOP members, however, have long said Ryan is a policy wonk and has his eyes set on the chairmanship of Ways and Means. A Ryan speakership would hamper any future presidential bid.