House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday said that his prospects of retaining the speakership after 2024’s congressional elections hinge on the GOP winning seats in California, according to his statements during a press conference.
McCarthy, who was elected speaker in January after a contentious process involving 15 rounds of voting, currently leads a House Republican Conference with a slim four-seat majority. After the Conference gained new members in California following the 2022 midterm elections, McCarthy emphasized that maintaining those seats would be crucial to keeping the House in Republican control, according to comments he made at a press conference call regarding the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) new “Bank Your Vote” strategy in the state.
“Is my future as Speaker dependent on holding the five seats we picked up in California? Yeah. We have our entire majority because we won in California. We picked up those House seats over two cycles,” McCarthy said. He added that the gains were primarily due to Republicans’ fielding candidates from minority communities, saying “We’ve elected more women as Republicans … Hispanics as Republicans … [and] black Republicans.”
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McCarthy also highlighted some members of the Conference from California whose seats were critical to such a victory. He specifically named Republican Reps. John Duarte and David Valadao of California’s 13th and 22nd districts, representing Berkeley and Oakland as well as the majority-Latino San Joaquin Valley, as such members.
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