McCarthy withdraws candidacy for speaker, GOP vote postponed

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a stunning move, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has withdrawn his candidacy for speaker of the U.S. House.

GOP lawmakers say McCarthy told colleagues at the start of a closed meeting that he was not the right person for the job. He recommended that the election be postponed and Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) delayed it.

McCarthy had been heavily favored to be nominated by his fellow Republicans. However, the California Republican failed to win over a small but crucial bloc in the House GOP: the hardline Freedom Caucus. The group of 30-plus uncompromising conservatives drove Boehner to resign by threatening a floor vote on his speakership.

Yesterday, the Freedom Caucus announced it would oppose McCarthy, and back one of his two rivals, Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (CHAY'-fits) of Utah, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was also making a bid to be speaker.

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APPHOTO DCJM107: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., center, turns to his wife Judy McCarthy as they enter a House Republican caucus vote on its nominee to replace House Speaker John Boehner, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (8 Oct 2015)

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APPHOTO DCAH106: Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., right, leaves a House Republican special leadership election meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, to replace House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is stepping down, and retiring from Congress, at the end of the month, after nearly five years in the role. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is the front-runner in the race to become the next speaker, but he faces two Republican opponents who are trying to draw some of his support. Four-term Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and three-term Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida both say they can bring a needed fresh perspective to GOP leadership, unlike McCarthy, who has served as majority leader under Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (8 Oct 2015)

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APPHOTO DCAH108: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, speaks to reporters as he leaves a House Republican special leadership election meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, to replace House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is stepping down and retiring from Congress at the end of the month after nearly five years in the role. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is the front-runner in the race to become the next speaker, but he faces two Republican opponents who are trying to draw some of his support. Four-term Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and three-term Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida both say they can bring a needed fresh perspective to GOP leadership, unlike McCarthy, who has served as majority leader under Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (8 Oct 2015)

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