Kevin McCarthy, who worked his way up from a California state representative to the ranks of House leadership, is now out as Speaker of the House. He became the first speaker to ever lose his job after 8 Republicans voted with all Democrats to remove him this evening. The final vote was 216 to 210.
McCarthy was originally on the course for speakership in 2015, before rumors of an affair surfaced. McCarthy has denied those rumors, and said his changing fortunes at the time were due more to his comments that the Benghazi investigation was a political attack against Hillary Clinton.
But in the years to follow, McCarthy ingratiated himself with President Donald Trump, and effectively fundraised for fellow members of the GOP, which helped his political profile. In 2014 he was elected Majority Leader in the House, and in 2018 he was elected House Republican Leader. He ultimately was elected to the role of Speaker in 2023, after 15 rounds of voting in the House. His tenure lasted 269 days.
What happens next for McCarthy is not clear.
"I will not run for speaker again," McCarthy said in a conference after his ouster on Tuesday. "I'll have the conference pick somebody else."
MeCarthy's decision not to run again also puts the longer-term future of the speakership in uncertain territory. There is no obvious successor for McCarthy's post.
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