As speculation mounts about when House Speaker John Boehner will hand over the baton, allies of the Republican "Young Guns" appear poised to take over.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the self-proclaimed "Young Guns" who were at the forefront of taking back the House in 2010, are considered among the strongest contenders to fill Boehner's shoes should he choose to step down in the next Congress, according to Politico
Cantor is currently considered the most likely successor. The 50-year-old Virginia Republican has been at the top of the party hierarchy since his election in 2000. As the loyal lieutenant of Boehner, he appears to have earned the respect of establishment and conservative lawmakers alike.
"Cantor's agenda has given House Republicans something to do. He has broadened his portfolio from fiscal matters to issues like expanding medical research and attempting to help working families. He's also a master fundraiser who shares the wealth with colleagues," Politico said.
McCarthy, like Cantor, also had a meteoric rise in the party since arriving in Washington in 2006. The 49-year-old Californian was instrumental in writing the platform for the 2008 Republican convention and later helped set the stage for the 2010 GOP House takeover after drafting the party's list of election promises that year, Politico reports.
"People like him. McCarthy's an affable, hardworking member of the House. Through whipping and nearly endless interaction with other members, he has forged close personal bonds with a wide swath of the House GOP," Politico said, adding that he's been a powerful fundraiser for colleagues.
McCarthy also confirmed in a recent interview that he would run for leadership again, according to Politico.
Meanwhile, Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, has achieved the most prominence of all three, Politico reports, making him a viable choice to succeed Boehner if he so chose, but many think that's unlikely.
"Ryan has two basic options for the next step in his career: he will either run for president in the future or snatch the gavel of the Ways and Means Committee. Most people close to Ryan think he'll bide his time in the House, aiming to rewrite the Tax Code while monitoring the political landscape," Politico said.
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