According to a report from Politico, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to line up a collection of GOP House candidates who will be loyal to him is creating dissension in the ranks of the candidates he passed over -- and he may have a rebellion among the ranks if Republicans take the House in November.
With Republicans expected to assume House control -- albeit by a smaller margin than was previously expected -- McCarthy has reportedly been suppressing those who oppose his leadership and putting his finger on the scale to boost his hand-selected candidates.
Case in point, a highly contested seat representing New Hampshire where one of the potential candidates is furious that McCarthy from California is butting in.
As Politico's Ally Mutnick and Olivia Beavers wrote, "Outside spending in New Hampshire's Republican House primaries on behalf of Matt Mowers, a former aide to Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., and Keene Mayor George Hansel, has enraged the other GOP contenders. As Mowers and Hansel get heavy support from outside PACs in the final stretch of the campaign, conservative rivals are furious over what they allege is a leadership-backed campaign to help McCarthy slide into the House's top role next year after a GOP takeover."
That has Bob Burns, who is challenging Hansel, vowing revenge on McCarthy should he win the primary and then the November general election, supplanting Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H.
"He's dead to me at this point. I'm not going to support him," Burns told Politico before adding, "And quite frankly if it boils down to it, I may run against him."
As it stands, the report states, McCarthy has been fairly successful getting his people on the November ballot, with few Republicans on the November ballot stating they will oppose his plan to replace House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"The race to take on Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas grew particularly heated after the McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund went in to boost Mowers over his top competitor Karoline Leavitt, a Gen Z former Donald Trump communications official backed by House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas," Politico reports. "The specter of McCarthy's speakership dominated the closing remarks of a WMUR debate last week, when a third candidate noted 'swamp rat Kevin McCarthy is spending $2 million' to elect Mowers and accused Leavitt of obfuscating her position on a potential vote for speaker."
"I am the only candidate in this race that the establishment is viciously attacking. They're spending millions and millions of dollars to slow down my momentum," Leavitt complained before refusing to say she would support McCarthy by telling reporters, "I'm not beholden to anyone in D.C."
For his part, Mowers is pleading innocence on any deal-making with the House Minority Leader, telling reporters, "He and I haven't talked about it. I think he's done a good job as minority leader. But we'll have that conversation in due time."
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