NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — If all goes as planned, California Republican Kevin McCarthy could be elected the new House Majority Leader this week, replacing Virginia’s Eric Cantor.
KCAL9’s Dave Bryan talked to Republicans in Newport Beach on Monday about what the change could mean to the struggling state GOP.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher from Orange County, who has been Tea Party-friendly and has worked with McCarthy in the Republican Caucus in Washington for years, believes his colleague may be the right man for the job.
“While I would have hoped that we could have had a more conservative candidate than Kevin, Kevin is a visionary when it comes to technology, and I think he is a pragmatist when it comes to things like illegal immigration and other issues that face us here in California,” Rohrabacher said. “I think he will be a boost for the Republican party, but what is most important [is that] it will be good for California, good for America,” he added.
State Assembly candidate Ted Grose, a longtime Republican activist in Los Angeles County, also believes McCarthy may be able to turn around the image of beleaguered Republicans in California.
“Mr. McCarthy’s positioning will be good to bring in another voice to the state of California. Our state Legislature has had one voice since about 1970. And it’s time that we bring other voices into the political discussion,” Grose said. “We’ll help boost our visibility, and I think that people will come to see that we are reasonable, we can play well with others and we’re here to work,” he added.
Not everyone agrees that McCarthy’s takeover as majority leader would make much difference in California, however.
Bryan spoke with former state party chairman Mike Schroeder, who said he thinks McCarthy will have no impact on California Republicans, citing his ties to big business, big money and his close relationship with Cantor, who stepped down from his post in the GOP-controlled chamber after his stunning primary defeat.
The vote on McCarthy is scheduled for Thursday.