McCarthy withdraws candidacy for speaker, GOP vote postponed

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a stunning move, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has withdrawn his candidacy for speaker of the U.S. House.

GOP lawmakers say McCarthy told colleagues at the start of a closed meeting that he was not the right person for the job. He recommended that the election be postponed and Speaker John Boehner delayed it.

McCarthy had been heavily favored to be nominated by his fellow Republicans. However, the California Republican failed to win over a small but crucial bloc in the House GOP: the hardline Freedom Caucus. The group of 30-plus uncompromising conservatives drove Boehner to resign by threatening a floor vote on his speakership.

Yesterday, the Freedom Caucus announced it would oppose McCarthy, and back one of his two rivals, Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was also making a bid to be speaker.

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