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• CA-23: On Thursday, Speaker-in-Waiting Kevin McCarthy pulled the plug on his bid to become Speaker-for-Real. McCarthy quickly announced that he would not be resigning from the House and would stay on as majority leader. McCarthy’s Bakersfield seat is safely red and no notable Republicans have ever tried to challenge him, and that’s unlikely to change even after this debacle.
Of course, it’s always possible that McCarthy changes his mind and exits the House a bit earlier than planned. It’s probably not going to be fun for McCarthy to try and enforce order among his chaotic caucus when he knows that his path to becoming speaker has been blocked by his own loose lips. It’s also possible that McCarthy will find he can’t do his job as majority leader as well now that he’s embarrassed himself so badly, and that he’ll leave
House for greener pastures.
McCarthy tells reporter Robert Costa that he’ll seek re-election to the House. But this is a very crazy situation with very little modern precedent, and it’s possible McCarthy will change his mind once some time has passed. In any case, if McCarthy decides to tell the House “screw you guys, I’m going home,” there will be no shortage of Bakersfield-area Republicans eyeing his seat.