Kevin McCarthy is an American politician who served as the 55th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from January to October 2023.
He is a member of the Republican Party and represents California’s 20th congressional district.
McCarthy was first elected to Congress in 2006 and has held various leadership positions, including House Majority Whip, House Majority Leader, and House Republican Leader.
He is a native of Bakersfield, California, and a fourth-generation Kern County resident.
On October 3, 2023, McCarthy was unexpectedly pushed out by right-wingers in his own party, becoming the first House Speaker in US history to be removed in this way.
A search is currently underway for his replacement.
Kevin McCarthy early life
McCarthy is the youngest of three children of a homemaker mother and an assistant fire chief father.
He grew up in the middle-class College Heights neighborhood of Bakersfield, a large city in south-central California dominated by agriculture and oil production.
McCarthy’s family has lived in Kern county (in which Bakersfield is located) for four generations.
He attended Bakersfield High School, where he played on the football team.
Following graduation from high school, McCarthy briefly attended community college.
At the same time, he earned money by refurbishing automobiles acquired at auctions in Los Angeles and then selling them.
In October 1984, at age 20, he bought a lottery ticket that proved to be a $5,000 winner.
The episode is at the center of McCarthy’s oft-told origin story as a politician, in which he recounts how that fortuitous moment started him on the road to entrepreneurship.
McCarthy sold his business and used the profits to return to college in 1987, earning an undergraduate business degree (1989) and a master’s degree in business administration (1994) from California State University, Bakersfield.
During college, he worked as a seasonal firefighter for the Kern County Fire Department.
Kevin McCarthy wife
McCarthy’s wife is Judy McCarthy.
She has been married to Kevin since 1992, and they are high school sweethearts; they have two children together named Connor and Meghan.
Like her husband, Judy is a lifelong resident of Bakersfield, California, and they still live in the first home they bought together.
She attended Bakersfield College and California State University, Bakersfield.
Judy is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and remains active within her community.
What is Judy McCarthy’s background?
Judy attended Bakersfield College and California State University, Bakersfield:
She is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention and remains active within her community, and focuses on faith and family instead of politics.
Kevin McCarthy’s ouster
McCarthy was ousted from his position in a historic vote on October 3, 2023.
The vote was 218-208 against tabling a motion to remove McCarthy as speaker, with most Democrats present joining 11 hard-line Republicans to force a final vote on the issue.
The final vote to determine McCarthy’s fate could happen as early as Tuesday.
Following McCarthy’s ouster, the Republican conference will hold an informal vote among their members to decide who they want to nominate to lead their party.
He won the majority of the Republican vote in a closed-door meeting in November 2022.
After announcing Tuesday that he won’t seek reelection, he will not be the choice this time around. Who will be the GOP choice is unknown, though numerous members are currently working behind the scenes to gauge their chances.
McCarthy’s fate was deeply uncertain as the fiery debate unfolded, with much of the complaints against the speaker revolving around his truthfulness and his ability to keep the promises he has made since January to win the gavel.
He has been pressured by conservatives in his party who are peeved at his willingness to break bread with Democrats.
On Saturday, the speaker relied on Democratic votes to avert a government shutdown; earlier this year, he worked with Democrats to suspend the nation’s debt ceiling so the United States could pay its bills.
The ouster of McCarthy has left the House of Representatives effectively paralyzed, and the Republicans are now working to nominate a new leader.