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Friday, Jun 13 2014 11:40 AM

No cake-walk for McCarthy?

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    By AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

    House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks to a Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from Bakersfield, will have a challenger after all in his bid for House Majority Leader.

The Hill, a Washington, D.C. newspaper that focuses on Congress, is reporting conservative second-term Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, announced Friday he will challenge McCarthy for the post to replace the defeated Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.

In his statement, The Hill reported, Labrador said it was clear from Cantor's stunning primary loss that "Americans are looking for a change in the status quo."

"I want a House leadership team that reflects the best of our conference," Labrador said. "A leadership team that can bring the Republican conference together. A leadership team that can help unite and grow our party. Americans don't believe their leaders in Washington are listening and now is the time to change that."

McCarthy, currently the majority whip, has already amassed enough support necessary to the win the election to be held on Thursday, his allies have said. But Labrador's candidacy will allow conservatives who have chafed at the current leadership team an alternate choice, The Hill reported.

Labrador's move comes after two prominent Texans, Reps. Pete Sessions and Jeb Hensarling, decided against pursuing bids to challenge McCarthy.

Labrador is a frequent critic of leadership and refused to vote for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in January 2013.

McCarthy could not immediately be reached for comment.

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