Washington (CNN)Former Vice President Dick Cheney endorsed Kevin McCarthy in the race for House speaker Wednesday night, the eve before House Republicans cast their votes to replace John Boehner.
Dick Cheney endorses Kevin McCarthy for House speaker
"I've known Kevin McCarthy for many years. He is a good man and a strong leader," Cheney said in a statement. "As a man of the House and a former member of the House leadership, I know that Kevin McCarthy is the person we need as speaker in these dangerous and important times."
McCarthy's ascent towards the top leadership spot has been meteoric -- he was elected to the House in 2006, entered the GOP leadership team in 2009 and replaced his mentor, Rep. Eric Cantor, as majority leader when Cantor lost to a primary challenger last summer.
His tireless work ethic and easygoing demeanor made him popular with his colleagues, but recent comments he made on Fox News about how effective a House panel investigating Benghazi had been at knocking down Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's poll numbers landed him in hot water.
In his endorsement, Cheney vouched for McCarthy's conservative leadership bona fides.
"It is more important than ever that we have strong conservative leadership in the House of Representatives," Cheney said.
Cheney's endorsement was first reported by Politico.