House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy defeated Rep. Jim Jordan Wednesday to retain his post as the top Republican in the House a week after Democrats flipped control of the chamber.
Mr. McCarthy of California won 159-43.
Most of the other leadership races were uncontested and decided on a voice vote.
Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana was named minority whip and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming became the House Republican Conference Chair as her father former Vice President Dick Cheney, sporting a cowboy hat, looked on from the room.
Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota was tapped to lead the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s campaign arm. Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina was elected Republican Conference Vice Chair and Rep. Jason Smith of Missouri became Republican Conference Secretary.
In the only other competitive race, Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama defeated David Schweikert to lead the Republican Policy Committee.
The race for minority leader grabbed most of the attention and served as a early test of whether rank-and-file members believed it was time for wholesale changes following the midterm elections.
Mr. Jordan, co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, blamed the GOP’s recent electoral losses on retiring House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his top lieutenants, including Mr. McCarthy.
Mr. Jordan of Ohio said the GOP suffered in the midterm elections because party leaders did not fulfill campaign promises.
Most lawmakers, though, gave Mr. McCarthy, who has served as majority leader since 2014 and on the leadership team since 2009, the benefit of the doubt.
“My belief is House Republicans exceeded expectations,” Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas told The Washington Times before the vote.
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