GOP leaders jockey for position in House as tea party celebrates Eric Cantor’s stunning loss

WASHINGTON (AP) — Less than 24 hours after Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning primary defeat, House Republicans are jockeying for leadership positions.

Officials say Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California is telling fellow Republicans he plans to run to succeed Cantor, and Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas is also signaling he’s interested. Meanwhile, officials say Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana is hoping to replace McCarthy in his current post of majority whip.

Cantor has given no public indication that he intends to step down, but there is quiet pressure on him to resign his post as the Republicans’ second-ranking leader.

A meeting of the GOP rank and file is scheduled for this afternoon.

Cantor had been seen as a likely eventual successor to House Speaker John Boehner. But he was beaten in the Virginia primary yesterday by David Brat, an economics professor and political newcomer supported by the tea party.

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137-c-22-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent)-“the majority leader”-AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports Cantor’s defeat is a loss for the GOP establishment. (11 Jun 2014)

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154-w-35-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.)–The top House Democrat says the defeat of House Majority Leader is the will of the people. AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports (11 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO DCSA104: The leadership office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is closed on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, the morning after a stunning political defeat by a tea party challenger in the Virginia primary. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (11 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO DCSA101: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, is pursued by reporters as he walks from his office through the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, the morning after the stunning political defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., by a tea party challenger in the Virginia primary. In a statement, Speaker John Boehner praised Cantor as “a good friend and a great leader, and someone I’ve come to rely upon on a daily basis.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (11 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO VASH102: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., delivers a concession speech in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Cantor lost in the GOP primary to tea party candidate Dave Brat. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) (10 Jun 2014)

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