WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy easily won an internal party election to take over the shrunken House GOP caucus, handing the seven-term Californian a familiar role of building the party back to a majority as well as protecting President Donald Trump’s agenda. With Speaker Paul Ryan retiring and the House majority gone, the race for minority leader was McCarthy’s to lose Wednesday. But rarely has a leader of a party that suffered a major defeat — Democrats wiped out Republicans in GOP-held suburban districts from New York to McCarthy’s own backyard — been so handily rewarded. After defeating Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the conservative House Freedom Caucus co-founder, McCarthy will be tested by Republicans on and off Capitol Hill who remain angry and divided after their midterm losses, and split over how best to move forward. “We’ll be back,” McCarthy promised, claiming a unified front for the Republican leadership team. He won by 159-43 among House Republicans. McCarthy, who has been majority leader under Ryan, acknowledged Republicans “took a beating” in the suburbs in last week’s national elections, especially as the ranks of GOP female lawmakers plummeted to just 13. The GOP side of the aisle will be… Read full this story
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