Republican California Rep. Kevin McCarthy announced Monday that he will run to replace John Boehner as speaker of the House.
In an email sent to Republican House members, McCarthy, who has been working to lock up support behind the scenes, acknowledged the tensions inside the conference between some members and the party leadership. “We can’t ignore the differences that exist, but we can and must heal the divisions in our conference with work, time, and trust.”
“That is why I have decided to run for Speaker of the House and graciously ask for your support,” wrote McCarthy, who is the current majority leader.
Boehner said Friday he plans to step down and resign from Congress next month. There had renewed talks that conservatives, frustrated with his leadership and tactics fighting the Obama administration’s agenda, would attempt to oust him from the speaker’s chair. Boehner said he wanted to avoid a messy leadership fight.
The only other candidate for speaker at this point is Florida Rep. Daniel Webster.
Here is the full email sent by McCarthy:
From: Kevin McCarthy
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015 3:17 PM
Subject: Our Future
Our conference has been through a lot together. We are a part of the largest Republican majority since 1928. We have made real progress towards shrinking an overgrown federal government and reforming our broken entitlement system. But our work is far from done. We can’t ignore the differences that exist, but we can and must heal the divisions in our conference with work, time, and trust. That is why I have decided to run for Speaker of the House and graciously ask for your support.
You all know me. We’ve spent late nights on the House Floor together. I’ve visited your districts and met your families and constituents. More importantly, I have gotten to know your ideas, your goals, and your vision for our conference and our country.
I am running to be your Speaker because I know that the People’s House works best when the leadership you elect listens to members and respects the legislative process entrusted to committees. In short, I am guided by something Ronald Reagan once said: “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
But I am also sensitive to what is happening outside of the Beltway. I want us to be much closer to the people we represent, and I want them to once again feel like this is their government, they are in charge, and we are here to serve them.
If elected Speaker, I promise you that we will have the courage to lead the fight for our conservative principles and make our case to the American people. But we will also have the wisdom to listen to our constituents and each other so that we always move forward together.
Over the past weekend, I reached out to every one of you to listen to your opinions and ask for your advice. I know that you ran for Congress to make a difference, to leave a better country for your kids and grandkids. There are challenges ahead, but unified we have an amazing opportunity to make lasting conservative change. And I know when we work together under the banner of freedom and opportunity there is little that is out of our reach.
I look forward to fighting with you for our shared conservative principles.