House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield)
By Amber Phillips
September 25 at 12:48 PM
Today is John Boehner’s day. Tomorrow could very much belong to Kevin McCarthy.
The California Republican is currently the No. 2 leader in the House of Representatives, and with the surprise news that Republicans’ No. 1 leader, House Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio), is stepping down at the end of October, indications are that McCarthy is the likeliest replacement.
Here’s what you need to know about the fast-rising McCarthy:
Name: Kevin Owen McCarthy
Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif., about 112 miles northeast of Los Angeles. McCarthy is the first Republican in his family.
Birth date: Jan. 26, 1965 (He’s 50 years old.)
Notable childhood moments: As a teenager, McCarthy won $5,000 in a lottery. He invested the money in the stock market and opened up a deli at age 19 — “Subway before there was Subway,” he once told the National Review. He and his father, an assistant fire chief, built the counter in their garage.
McCarthy credits those years as a small business owner with enshrining in him Republican values, even as his parents are Democrats.
“And I soon learned, if you’re a small business owner, you’re the first one to work, the last to leave, the last to be paid,” he told Fox News’s Chris Wallace in a 2014 interview. “You learn what regulation does to your business and the challenges. You wonder where common sense is.”
Nonpolitical résumé: After selling the deli to pay his way through college, McCarthy earned his MBA at California State University at Bakersfield. He pretty much jumped into politics right after that.
Political résumé: McCarthy was once turned down for an internship with his local congressman. But he soon began a rapid ascent in politics. He was a state assemblyman in 2002, where he was elected Republican floor leader in his first term. He ran for Congress in 2006, winning the Republican primary and subsequent general election to represent the heavily Republican district that encompasses his hometown.
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