McCarthy’s promotion to House majority leader means more state influence.

Published: June 21, 2014 Updated: 9:18 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite the coming exodus of three stars from California’s delegation, Kevin McCarthy’s elevation to the second-most powerful position in Congress marks a historical peak in the Golden State’s political clout.

McCarthy’s new position is far more than a single step up from his job as majority whip – essentially a job of persuader and vote counter. As majority leader, he will undoubtedly play a large role in setting the legislative agenda for the Republican-controlled House.

In an arena teaming with competing interests and ambitions, the Bakersfield resident’s expanded power is expected to add more muscle to California’s already high profile.

“McCarthy and Pelosi have enormous clout institutionally,” said Bill Carrick, referring to minority leader and former speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. Carrick is a Democratic political consultant based in Los Angeles who has worked on Dianne Feinstein’s Senate campaigns and is currently working for Ted Lieu in his congressional bid to represent coastal Los Angeles.

While California’s 53-member House delegation has never been known for being particularly cohesive or speaking with one voice, its members have risen to key positions.

And this being Washington, city of climbers, state clout matters.

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