McCarthy drops out of House Speaker race

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the House Speaker race Thursday morning.

McCarthy is currently a Congressman for California’s 23rd District and serves as House Majority Leader.

His exit from the race came without warning as House Republicans were in a closed-door meeting to select their nominee for speaker.

"I think I shocked some of you, huh?" McCarthy told reporters following the decision.

John Boehner announced his resignation as House Speaker last month. His term ends at the end of October.

According to CNN, the House is in chaos after this shocking announcement, as there is currently no runner-up for the position.

An influential group of conservatives endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster, on Wednesday, placing McCarthy’s ability to win the House floor vote later this month in doubt, according to CNN. 

"If we’re going to unite and be strong, we need a new face to do that," McCarthy said, adding that he did not want to win the race on the House floor with only enough votes to squeak by.

A source close to McCarthy told CNN the decision to drop out came down to "numbers, pure and simple," adding that "he had the votes to win the conference vote, but there just wasn’t a path to 218" — the number of votes needed to lock down the speakership on the House floor.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, described McCarthy’s move as "courageous," saying this is "exciting" for the party because there is now a "wide open" race for speaker.

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