Idaho representative Raúl Labrador has announced he will challenge House majority whip Kevin McCarthy to replace Eric Cantor as majority leader.
After other potential candidates, such as Pete Sessions and Jeb Hensarling, chose not to run, it appeared that McCarthy could run unopposed for the second most senior position in the House Republican leadership. Labrador’s decision to run is expected to appeal to the caucus’s tea-party and libertarian-leaning wings looking for someone outside of leadership and not identified with the establishment. (McCarthy’s position, majority whip, is the third most senior Republican leadership position.)
“I want a House leadership team that reflects the best of our conference,” Labrador said in his announcement. “A leadership team that can bring the Republican conference together. A leadership team that can help unite and grow our party. Americans don’t believe their leaders in Washington are listening and now is the time to change that.”
Labrador entered Congress following the historic 2010 midterm wave that gave Republicans control of the House. He currently serves on the Judiciary and Natural Resources Committees.
He’d told the Washington Post’s Phil Rucker last night that he was considering running.