McCarthy expected to show more pragmatic, inclusive leadership in majority leader’s role
The selection of Kevin Owen McCarthy for the position of the majority leader in the California Legislature is expected to bring a more pragmatic and inclusive leadership.
On Thursday, Republicans overwhelmingly selected Mr. McCarthy to fill the majority leader seat vacated by Rep. Eric Cantor after his defeat in the recently held primary.
Forty-nine-year-old Mr. McCarthy is known for his aptitude to help bring a bill across the finish line gently during Arnold Schwarzenegger’s governorship. Fabian Núñez, the speaker of California Assembly, recalled that they had negotiated a pretty tricky budget in 2004.
Recalling the incident, Núñez said, “Kevin said to me, ‘I have six votes for you,’ and then he went back and delivered the six votes … he was a man of his word. If he said, ‘I can’t go there,’ he could not go there. He was always trying to negotiate for something better.”
The new majority leader’s sensibilities and other political skills sharpened during his time in Sacramento, where Democrats held a significant majority and Republicans’ narrow-mindedness was as plentiful as now in the House.
Mr. McCarthy, the grandson of a cattle rancher and the son of a firefighter, is well known for his careful massaging of Republicans, many of whom he cultivated in 2010 during his drive across the country as head of recruiting for the National Republican Congressional Committee. He picked candidates like Rep. Stephen Fincher of Tennessee, whom he helped pull from obscurity.
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