Republicans in chaos as favorite quits House leadership race

McCarthy explains his decision to pull out of a Republican caucus secret ballot vote to determine the nominee to replace retiring House Speaker John Boehner, on Capitol Hill in WashingtonRepublicans in Washington struggled to fill a leadership void on Thursday as the front-runner to take control of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, quit the race in a surprise announcement that heightened concerns about the party’s ability to govern effectively. Representative McCarthy, the No. 2 House Republican, had been expected to win Thursday’s contest for the nomination to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner despite opposition from more conservative lawmakers demanding a harder line against Democratic President Barack Obama’s agenda. “For us to unite, we probably need a fresh face,” McCarthy, who is from California, told reporters after the election meeting ended in chaos.

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