House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy R-Calif., faces several obstacles in trying to succeed Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as speaker, including conservative opposition, The Hill is reporting.
The website noted that McCarthy has already picked up an official endorsement from Ryan and is considered one of President Donald Trump's key allies.
"Kevin is in a very strong position," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told The Hill. "Our leadership team has rallied around him, he's got a lot of goodwill, a lot of respect in our conference."
But all that could change with a conservative backlash and the possibility of another candidate in the race for speaker, The Hill reported.
"This is politics," Cole said. "Nothing's ever guaranteed. And nobody knows that better than Kevin McCarthy."
McCarthy had been the favorite to replace John Boehner, R-Ohio, as speaker nearly three years ago, The Hill pointed out. But his bid collapsed because of conservative opposition.
"You have to totally change the order around here," said Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. "It means a whole new group of people who are actually running the House that reflects the will of the people."
And conservative Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is said to be looking at making a bid for the speaker's post.
The Washington Post reported Jordan, if he can keep two dozen conservatives on his side, could block McCarthy form getting a simple majority in the race for speaker.
And it said conservatives can hold out until McCarthy gives into their demands on policy issues.
Meanwhile, some are predicting it will be difficult for McCarthy to hold on to his frontrunner status if Ryan carries through with his plans to remain speaker until January when he retires from Congress, according to The Hill.
"If this election goes six months, there's going to be a lot of scrutiny once you become the favorite," said Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
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