Updated 3:32 p.m. | Republican members of the House elected Kevin McCarthy to be the next majority leader, sending a message of stability to their party in a time of unexpected unrest.
Behind the closed doors of the Ways and Means Committee room, in a secret ballot vote, the California Republican cemented the massive voting bloc he’s held from the earliest moments of the race. McCarthy, who was the majority whip, toppled conservative challenger Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho. Labrador had mounted a concerted media campaign.
The House doesn’t formally announce the tally, though it could leak.
Labrador’s campaign looked to capitalize on general frustration with leadership, as well as the message Virginia voters sent to the House after Majority Leader Eric Cantor suffered a stunning primary defeat on June 10.
In the end, Republicans chose the safe and expected candidate, elevating the No. 3 Republican to the No. 2 spot. Next up is choosing a new whip to replace McCarthy.