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The ambitious career of Kevin McCarthy, GOP hopeful for Speaker of the House

Business Insider Logo By ktangalakislippert@insider.com (Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert,Lauren Frias) of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 16:  Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, is the GOP nominee for Speaker of the House. But the GOP House leader's bid for Speaker hangs in the balance as he scrambled for support to lock down the role. Here's a look at his more than two decades in office and how his influence has grown among the GOP. Kevin McCarthy, a California congressman, is the House Republican nominee angling to replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House in the next congressional session.But his bid to hold the Speaker's gavel still hangs in the balance after several Republicans publicly opposed him, including Reps. Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz, despite his concessions to demands from far-right lawmakers.The GOP leader needs to win 218 votes to win the Speaker's gavel if every member of the House were to attend and cast a vote, a number that isn't guaranteed despite Republicans controlling 222 seats.At the end of the first vote on Tuesday, McCarthy fell short with 212 votes, losing 19 Republican votes to other nominees, including GOP Reps. Andy Biggs and Jim Jordan. Democratic nominee for Speaker Hakeem Jeffries didn't lose a single Democratic vote in the House, getting 203 votes, but also failing to meet the 218-vote threshold to become Speaker.A second ballot is expected after no nominees for Speaker secured enough votes Tuesday afternoon, and successive votes will take place until McCarthy or another nominee garners enough support.The last time a speaker election has gone to multiple votes was in 1923 when a Speaker of the House was elected after nine ballots.Just hours before the vote, McCarthy delivered an impassioned speech to his party in a last-minute attempt to secure support to cement the role."I earned this job. We earned this majority, and God dammit we are going to win it today," McCarthy said to a standing ovation, Politico reported.Throughout his more than 20-year political career, the Bakersfield Republican has developed a reputation for his ambition. Here's a look at McCarthy's career, starting with his time in the California State Assembly to his recent years as a political influencer poised to become second in the line of presidential succession.  Representatives for McCarthy did not respond to Insider's requests for comment.

The ambitious career of Kevin McCarthy, GOP hopeful for Speaker of the House

  • Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, is the GOP nominee for Speaker of the House.
  • But the GOP House leader's bid for Speaker hangs in the balance as he scrambled for support to lock down the role.
  • Here's a look at his more than two decades in office and how his influence has grown among the GOP.

Kevin McCarthy, a California congressman, is the House Republican nominee angling to replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House in the next congressional session.

But his bid to hold the Speaker's gavel still hangs in the balance after several Republicans publicly opposed him, including Reps. Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz, despite his concessions to demands from far-right lawmakers.

The GOP leader needs to win 218 votes to win the Speaker's gavel if every member of the House were to attend and cast a vote, a number that isn't guaranteed despite Republicans controlling 222 seats.

At the end of the first vote on Tuesday, McCarthy fell short with 212 votes, losing 19 Republican votes to other nominees, including GOP Reps. Andy Biggs and Jim Jordan. Democratic nominee for Speaker Hakeem Jeffries didn't lose a single Democratic vote in the House, getting 203 votes, but also failing to meet the 218-vote threshold to become Speaker.

A second ballot is expected after no nominees for Speaker secured enough votes Tuesday afternoon, and successive votes will take place until McCarthy or another nominee garners enough support.

The last time a speaker election has gone to multiple votes was in 1923 when a Speaker of the House was elected after nine ballots.

Just hours before the vote, McCarthy delivered an impassioned speech to his party in a last-minute attempt to secure support to cement the role.

"I earned this job. We earned this majority, and God dammit we are going to win it today," McCarthy said to a standing ovation, Politico reported.

Throughout his more than 20-year political career, the Bakersfield Republican has developed a reputation for his ambition. Here's a look at McCarthy's career, starting with his time in the California State Assembly to his recent years as a political influencer poised to become second in the line of presidential succession.  

Representatives for McCarthy did not respond to Insider's requests for comment.

© Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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