House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced Monday his bid to replace Speaker John Boehner, and many say he stands a solid chance of winning as the chamber's second-most powerful Republican.
A secret-ballot vote among Republicans will determine the party nominee via a simple majority, and the nominee will need to secure another simple majority among the wider chamber in a subsequent public vote.
Over the next month, House members will weigh their options and more candidates are likely to throw their hats into the ring. Gathered below are 10 facts about Majority Leader McCarthy they'll likely take under advisement.
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1. He is viewed as a Beltway insider
— In his email announcing his bid for the Speakership, McCarthy said he is "sensitive to what is happening outside of the Beltway," regarding the polling surge among political outsiders like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina. "We can't ignore the differences that exist, but we can and must heal the divisions in our conference with work, time, and trust," he said, according to CNN
2. He is a rising star
— The California representative became Majority Whip, the No. 3 position in the House, in 2011. After former Majority Leader Eric Cantor's surprising primary defeat, McCarthy stepped up to the Majority Leader position in mid-2014. "McCarthy’s rise to the speakership also would be the fastest since Charles Frederick Crisp, a Georgia Democrat, 124 years ago," the Los Angeles Times reported
3. He knows business
— Long before he earned an M.B.A. from California State University in 1994, a 19-year-old McCarthy invested $5,000 he won in the lottery in his own small business, a deli called Kevin O's.
4. He wants to avoid a government shutdown
— Planned Parenthood funding has become a hot issue on the heels of The Center for Medical Progress' newly disclosed undercover videos, and McCarthy has said he favors creating a select committee to investigate the abortion provider rather than passing defunding legislation President Barack Obama will veto. He said the committee would be similar to the one currently investigating the Obama administration's handling of the attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
5. He is seen as a better communicator than Boehner
— "If you saw Kevin McCarthy on Special Report yesterday or Morning Joe today, two things are clear," wrote The Daily Caller
. "1) He’s a smoother, more polished wholesale politician than Boehner — the kind of guy who could even run for president, and 2) he keeps repeating the message that he will change the culture and bring people together." One common failing of Boehner, according to critics, is that he is not seen as a fighter, and he did a poor job of praising colleagues when the party notched new victories. With a different approach to leadership, McCarthy may fare better than his predecessor.
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6. He was shadowed by "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey
— In preparing for his role as the fictional House Majority Whip Francis Underwood, Spacey said McCarthy was "very generous" to him by letting him tag along for the day-to-day grind on Capitol Hill, The Huffington Post reported
7. He is a lifelong conservative Republican
— McCarthy was the chair of the California Young Republicans when he graduated from California State University in Bakersfield in 1989. During his college years, he interned in the district office of Rep. Bill Thomas, then chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
8. He worked for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
— According to U.S. News and World Report
, after winning the minority leader position during his first term in the California State Assembly, he secured a position on Schwarzenegger's transition team in 2002.
9. He brings Western representation to D.C.
— If elected, McCarthy, who represents Bakersfield, California, will likely run the House with Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco. It would be the first time in history the Speaker and Minority Leader were from the same state.
10. He is a bestselling author
— Along with then-House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and Rep. Paul Ryan, McCarthy, now 50, coauthored "Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders," which debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2010, Politico reported
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