Now that majority leader Eric Cantor is out of the running for the next Congress, who will take his place in the GOP leadership? Politico identifies a number of potential frontrunners, starting with current majority whip Kevin McCarthy of California, who is pretty much guaranteed to seek Cantor's old job, party insiders say. House rules committee chair Pete Sessions of Texas is already looking for allies in a bid to replace Cantor, Politico reports. But Texas' Jeb Hensarling, Ohio's Jim Jordan, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington could offer a conservative-wing challenge.
If McCarthy leaves the whip position, get ready for another battle—perhaps between McMorris Rodgers, Pete Roskam of Illinois, and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who has already officially decided to seek the post following colleagues' urging, Politico notes. Conservatives want Cantor to step down now, paving the way to a leadership debate soon. In the coming days, "you’re going to start hearing that people are seriously considering a run. It will be blown up," says an ex-party leadership staffer. "By the end of the week, we’re going to see who is interested and who is not." (Read more Kevin McCarthy stories.)