Blue-state congressman holds House's No 2 GOP post

By Kevin Freking

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, June 22 2014 9:32 a.m. MDT

Updated: Sunday, June 22 2014 9:32 a.m. MDT

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is followed by reporters as he crosses Independence Ave. just after being elected the new majority leader by the Republican Conference, replacing Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who was defeated in his primary earlier this month, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Conservative Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is taking McCarthy's place as GOP whip.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Some conservatives are skittish about having a new House majority leader from left-leaning California.

Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana says his constituents were "probably scratching their head" when it came to Rep. Kevin McCarthy's election to the No. 2 job on Thursday.

Adding to the unease is that the House's top Democrat, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, also is from California.

But McCarthy's Bakersfield-focused district is much more conservative than the rest of the state.

Among registered voters, Republicans outnumber Democrats there by a 16 percentage point margin. In the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney took almost 57 percent of the vote.

Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana says the California connection played into his lobbying efforts to get colleagues to vote for Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., to succeed McCarthy as majority whip.

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