imageThe sudden withdrawal of Kevin MacCarthy from th Speakership race comes just two hours after McCarthy retweeted a Paul Ryan endorsement:

 

In what may or may not be a related story, GotNews reported an alleged affair McCarthy was having with another House Member.  From GotNews:

Multiple sources within Bakersfield, North Carolina, & on Capitol Hill tell Gotnews.com that Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC) have been carrying on a long-running affair since 2011.

The affair is something of an open secret in Washington, D.C. Reporters at other publications, lobbyists, congressional staffers of both parties all know about it. One staffer for a congressman describes it as the “biggest open secret” in D.C. A lobbyist describes Ellmers as a “social climber who has ingratiated herself” with McCarthy.

http://gotnews.com/exclusive-boehner-replacement/

The story got the attention of at least one Congressman.  Also from Got News:

Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina has called for a full vetting of McCarthy before the speaker vote.

“I’ve had the pleasure of serving the third district of North Carolina for the past 20 years in Congress. Some of the most difficult times have been when our Republican leaders or potential Republican leaders must step down because of skeletons in their closets,” said Congressman Jones. “We’ve seen it with former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Bob Livingston, who ran for Speaker in 1998.  Let’s learn from the past and not go down that road again.  Let’s make sure the new House Republican leadership team is full of individuals that can do the job without distractions that further degrade the public’s trust in the people’s House.”

http://gotnews.com/breaking-gotnews-com-hit-with-cease-desist-letter-for-mccarthy-ellmers-affair-story/

From ABC News:  GOP Lawmaker: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Withdraws His Candidacy for Speaker – ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/gop-lawmaker-majority-leader-kevin-mccarthy-withdraws-candidacy-34344089

Here is a statement from Paul Ryan:
“Kevin McCarthy is best person to lead the House, and so I’m disappointed in this decision. Now it is important that we, as a Conference, take time to deliberate and seek new candidates for the speakership,” Ryan said. “While I am grateful for the encouragement I’ve received, I will not be a candidate. I continue to believe I can best serve the country and this conference as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”

Donald Trump Added- Great, Kevin McCarthy drops out of SPEAKER race. We need a really smart and really tough person to take over this very important job!

Five Thirty Eight has some background information on the group behind the Mccarthy withdrawal, the Freedom Caucus:

Caucus members’ votes are more distant from those of Democrats than are those of other Republicans, according to the vote-polarization measurement system DW-Nominate. Their average district has a Partisan Voting Index of R+14 — meaning that it votes Republican 14 percentage points more than the nation as a whole — compared with an average of R+11 in other House districts won by Republicans in 2012. Their average district’s population is 10 percent African-American and 10.4 percent Hispanic, compared with 9.6 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively, in other Republican-won districts.

MEMBER DISTRICT TERMS IN OFFICE PVI PVI RANK
Gary Palmer AL-6 1 R+28 5
Brian Babin TX-36 1 R+25 16
Tim Huelskamp KS-1 3 R+23 18
Cynthia M. Lummis WY 4 R+22 20
Paul A. Gosar AZ-4 3 R+20 25
Barry Loudermilk GA-11 1 R+19 29
Raul R. Labrador ID-1 3 R+18 38
Jim Bridenstine OK-1 2 R+18 41
Jeff Duncan SC-3 3 R+18 42
Scott Desjarlais TN-4 3 R+18 44
Matt Salmon AZ-5 5 R+17 46
Mo Brooks AL-5 3 R+17 49
Ted Poe TX-2 6 R+16 56
Trent Franks AZ-8 7 R+15 66
H. Morgan Griffith VA-9 3 R+15 69
Andy Harris MD-1 3 R+14 72
Jody B. Hice GA-10 1 R+14 75
Mark Meadows NC-11 2 R+13 85
Marlin A. Stutzman IN-3 4 R+13 88
John Fleming LA-4 4 R+13 94
David Schweikert AZ-6 3 R+12 95
Curt Clawson FL-19 2 R+12 99
Ken Buck CO-4 1 R+11 110
Alex Mooney WV-2 1 R+11 113
Mark Sanford SC-1 5 R+11 118
Dave Brat VA-7 2 R+10 130
Keith J. Rothfus PA-12 2 R+9 136
Bill Posey FL-8 4 R+9 137
Jim Jordan OH-4 5 R+9 138
Ron DeSantis FL-6 2 R+9 139
Scott Perry PA-4 2 R+9 140
Mick Mulvaney SC-5 3 R+9 142
Stevan Pearce NM-2 6 R+5 186
Justin Amash MI-3 3 R+4 196
Scott Garrett NJ-5 7 R+4 202
Reid J. Ribble WI-8 3 R+2 228
Rod Blum IA-1 1 D+5 282

http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/the-hard-line-republicans-who-pushed-john-boehner-out/

The alleged affair reported by Got News, if correct, would have given the Freedom Caucus plenty of ammunition to force McCarthy to withdraw.

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