Kevin McCarthy ends his political career in Washington. The Californian congressman announced this Wednesday that he will leave Congress at the end of the year. The announcement comes after the Republican was removed in early October as majority leader in a revolt by the radical sector of the party. McCarthy, 58, became the first politician in history to be voted out of office. His departure, just nine months after taking office, leaves a note of humiliation in his 16 years as a federal legislator.
“I have decided to leave the House of Representatives at the end of the year to serve the United States in other ways,” McCarthy said in an editorial published by The Wall Street Journal. The legislator communicates his decision two days before the final deadline to register candidacies in California for the 2024 electoral cycle. His resignation also opens a race to take his seat in Bakersfield, a solid Republican bastion located in the middle of progressive California.
For now, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, will have to call a special election to replace McCarthy, who was ending his term in Congress in January 2025. The legislator occupies the seat of District 20. He had previously been a representative of the districts 23 and 22, all in the central valley of the most populated state in the country.
McCarthy will leave Washington through the back door after losing the fight with the radical wing of the Republicans. His career began in 2007. Since then it was marked by his calculated rise to power. He had set himself the goal of becoming speaker of the House of Representatives for years. In October 2015, when he was the favorite to reach the position, he threw in the towel after publicly acknowledging that he did not have the support of the most conservative sector, then known as the Tea Party. That was the genesis of the divisions that continue to mark the conservative bloc.
It took eight wayward legislators for McCarthy to become the first speaker expelled from history. The rebellion was led by his archenemy, Florida legislator Matt Gaetz, who voted alongside Democrats to remove him from office, second in line to the president’s succession in Washington, only behind the vice presidency. Radicals judged that McCarthy, an experienced two-party politician, worked too closely with opposition rivals. He agreed with them in May to raise the debt ceiling and prevent the closure of the Government last September.
The radical bloc made it clear to McCarthy that they would make his life miserable from the beginning. It took 15 votes over four days for the California politician to become the leader of the Lower House. McCarthy also became the first politician since 1923 to lose an election for the position, voted for by the party with the majority. The final yes came at dawn. When he finally got hold of the gavel, the tool to conduct legislative sessions, he pronounced in what was his first speech: “I never give up.”
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McCarthy has not delved into his tribune of the Journal about his future. This, however, will continue to be tied to the Republican Party. “I will continue recruiting the best and brightest to pursue a career in Congress,” wrote the politician, raised in a family with Democratic tendencies. “I am committed to lending my experience to support the next generation of leaders,” he added.
One of the most repeated strengths of the politician is his ability to collect donations. Last year, he visited half of the states in the country to participate in events that aimed to raise funds for moderate Republicans who would not echo Donald Trump’s false accusations of fraud in the 2020 elections. On a single night in January 2022, managed to raise nine million dollars at a gala held in Washington. OK with Open Secretsan organization that tracks private money entering politics, has raised nearly $118 million since 2016 for hundreds of Republican politicians.
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