Consultant: McCarthy as majority leader could benefit Kern County

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A local and long-time political consultant is predicting a Rep. Kevin McCarthy win in next week's secret vote to replace Virginia's Eric Cantor as majority leader in the House of Representatives.

Stan Harper said having McCarthy as the second-highest ranking Republican can only benefit Kern County.

"Well, I think the majority leader brings a great deal of credibility to the district of anyone who gets that position," Harper said. "It would be a great deal of help to the Kern County, Bakersfield and the Antelope Valley, which he represents."

The position opened up after Cantor, the current majority leader, lost this week to a fellow Republican, something Harper said was unprecedented.

McCarthy is currently facing one challenger, Rep. Pete Sessions from Texas, but has gained support from several key party colleagues, such as former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and the ousted Cantor, his close friend.

"I can tell you if my dear friend and colleague Kevin McCarthy does decide to run, I think he'd make an outstanding majority leader," Cantor said. "I'll be backing him with my full support."

Speaker of the House John Boehner opted to stay away from the fight to replace Cantor.

"I've worked with all 434 other members of Congress before. I can work with whoever gets elected," he said.

A win for McCarthy would be historic, as no Republican has reached the majority leadership in only their fourth term.

Harper is predicting a win for McCarthy, saying he's earned it over the time he's spent in Congress.

"He traveled all over the country raising money, spending a lot of his time, a lot of his commitments raising money for them, raising money for himself and then giving money to candidates," Harper said. "That's why he's popular. That's why he'll probably win next Thursday's vote."