California Congressman Kevin McCarthy ascended to the role of House Majority Leader today having won his race for the second highest ranking position in Republican Leadership. The soon-to-be former House Majority Whip defeated Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador in a secret ballot election. McCarthy will continue to serve in his position as House Majority Whip until August 1 when he will assume his new leadership role.
McCarthy’s bid for the majority leader post was paved by the unexpected and surprising primary loss of Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor to dark horse candidate Dave Brat. Cantor is still currently serving as House Majority Leader and will be step down from his post at the end of July.
Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana also won his leadership election today for House Majority Whip and will replace McCarthy in his current role. Scalise ran against Representative Peter Roskam of Illinois and Rep. Martin Stutzman of Indiana.
Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif released this public statement following McCarthy’s elevation to the position of Majority Leader:
“Today, the House GOP Conference elected Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to serve as the next Majority Leader. Majority Leader-elect McCarthy represents the greater Bakersfield area in the San Joaquin Valley, which is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. We are very pleased to have our industry so well represented in the House Leadership structure. Majority Leader-elect McCarthy has provided critical leadership on a number of issues impacting the produce industry, including ensuring passage of a Farm Bill that recognizes the importance of fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, ongoing work to negotiate a solution to our water crisis, and of course working to address the immigration needs of agriculture. Time is short and the problems our country and industry face are urgent. We look forward to working this year with the new Majority Leader to bring relief to our drought stricken farmers and to finally fix our broken immigration system.”
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