House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced to his colleagues Wednesday that he would seek the position of minority leader when Democrats take control of the chamber next year.
“The fight ahead will not be easy — but that is exactly what makes it worthwhile,” McCarthy said in a letter to GOP members of the House. “Talking to so many of you, I am inspired by your resolve in the face of this challenge. Know that I am 100% committed to this conference and I would be honored to have your support.”
His announcement came a day after Republicans lost their majority in Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Earlier Wednesday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and a staunch ally of President Trump, said that he would also seek the post. An election is scheduled for next week.
Both men are running to replace retiring House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) as the top Republican in the chamber.
In his letter, McCarthy acknowledged it was “a difficult day” following Tuesday’s election results, which make it likely that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will become speaker next year.
“Even so, we should not let last night’s results diminish the great gains President Trump and our majority have delivered,” McCarthy wrote. “Each one of those successes will now be under attack with a Pelosi-led House. We have a responsibility to protect our constituents from higher taxes and increasing government control over their lives. And we need to lay the groundwork to regain the majority so that we can continue working alongside President Trump to fulfill our promise to fundamentally change Washington.”