House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has won his party’s nomination for speaker, beating conservative challenger Rep. Andy Biggs in a 188 - 31 vote, according to multiple sources in the room.
It was a secret ballot, and McCarthy only needed a simple majority.
While Biggs’ challenge was always seen as a long shot, the number of Republicans voting for him shows how much work McCarthy has to do to win over holdouts between now and January, when he will need to win a majority of the entire House.
Remember: A week after Election Day, CNN has still not yet projected whether Republicans will win the House. Republicans are closing in on the 218 seats needed for a House majority, but there are several races yet to be called.
But McCarthy was confident he would win a majority of House GOP votes on Tuesday to lead his conference – and that he will earn in January the 218 votes necessary to hold the speaker’s gavel.
Three House Republicans — Kat Cammack of Florida, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania — nominated McCarthy for leader, arguing that he has worked harder than anyone, and that party unity is the only path to victory.
Biggs, a former chair of the House Freedom Caucus, announced on Newsmax on Monday night that he would run against McCarthy, while acknowledging it would be “tough” to beat someone who has “raised a lot of money” to elect his colleagues.