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Jose Serrano

Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield appears to be in line to succeed John Boehner as speaker

Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield appears to be in line to succeed John Boehner as speaker

U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy is the odds-on favorite to become the second House speaker from California in less than a decade, a remarkable run of clout for the nation's largest state.

But McCarthy, a Bakersfield Republican expected to succeed Speaker John A. Boehner as the most powerful figure in Congress, must overcome a daunting array of political challenges if he is to succeed where Boehner failed.

Like the outgoing speaker, McCarthy will face a Republican insurgency in the House that could thwart his leadership.

McCarthy, 50, also will face stiff head winds back home in liberal California as he pursues an agenda at odds with that of the state's Democratic...

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