Kevin McCarthy was the obvious frontrunner for the Speaker of the House position, but just a few short minutes ago, he dropped his bid without immediately citing a reason. What was once a race almost completely tied up for the California Republican has now been blown open wide.
McCarthy, it seems, was fine with the idea of running for Speaker through yesterday evening, even going so far as to look to strike a deal with the more conservative House Freedom Caucus - a compromise which might have put him over the 218 votes necessary to earn the title. Then, he held a secret meeting today with a few key lawmakers and promptly announced that he was pulling out of the race. McCarthy has so far declined to provide any further information, and speculation is rampant.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Thursday abruptly pulled out of his bid to be the next speaker of the House.
McCarthy was expected to coast to an easy win, as he was thought to have the support of nearly 200 Republicans.