Kevin McCarthy (California politician)

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Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy2.jpg
House Majority Whip
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Leader Eric Cantor
Preceded by Jim Clyburn
Republican Chief Deputy Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Leader John Boehner
Preceded by Eric Cantor
Succeeded by Peter Roskam
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 23rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Lois Capps
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Bill Thomas
Succeeded by Devin Nunes
Minority Leader of the California Assembly
In office
January 5, 2004 – April 17, 2006
Preceded by Dave Cox
Succeeded by George Plescia
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 32nd district
In office
December 2, 2002 – November 30, 2006
Preceded by Roy Ashburn
Succeeded by Jean Fuller
Personal details
Born (1965-01-26) January 26, 1965 (age 49)
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Judy McCarthy
Children Connor
Alma mater California State University, Bakersfield
Religion Southern Baptist
Website House website
Party website
Congressman McCarthy at an oversight hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power.

Kevin Owen McCarthy (born January 26, 1965) is the majority whip of the United States House of Representatives, since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he is the U.S. representative for California's 23rd congressional district. The district includes most of Bakersfield, as well as most of the Antelope Valley. He previously served two terms in the California State Assembly, including two years as the Republican floor leader.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Born in Bakersfield, California, McCarthy is a fourth-generation resident of Kern County. In a campaign ad, he claimed, "Jeremiah McCarthy's house still stands." He opened his first business, a deli, at 19, after winning a few thousand dollars from a lottery ticket.[1] He subsequently sold the deli to attend California State University, Bakersfield. He obtained a B.S. in marketing, in 1989 and an M.B.A., in 1994. He ran small businesses before entering politics.

In 1995, he was chairman of the California Young Republicans. From 1999 to 2001, he was chairman of the Young Republican National Federation. From the late 1990s until 2002, he was the district director for U.S. representative Bill Thomas, who, at the time, chaired the House Ways and Means Committee.[citation needed]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Party leadership[edit]

  • Majority whip, 2011–present
  • Republican chief deputy whip, 2009–2011
  • House Republican Steering Committee

As a freshman, he was appointed to the Republican Steering Committee. In 2008, Republican leader John Boehner appointed him chairman of the Republican Platform Committee during the committee's meetings in Minneapolis in August 2008, which produced the Republican Party Platform for 2008. He was also one of the three founding members of the GOP Young Guns Program.

After the 2008 elections, he was chosen as chief deputy minority whip, the highest-ranking appointed position in the House Republican caucus. His predecessor, Eric Cantor, was named minority whip. On November 17, 2010, he was selected by the House Republican caucus to be the House majority whip in the 112th Congress. In this post, he is the third-ranking House Republican, behind Speaker John Boehner and majority leader Cantor.

House campaigns[edit]


McCarthy entered the Republican primary for the 22nd—the real contest in this heavily Republican district—after his former boss, Thomas, announced his retirement. He won the general election with 70.7% of the vote.


He ran unopposed.


He was virtually unopposed, winning 98.8% of the vote, with opposition coming only from a write-in candidate.

He was a primary author H.R. 1581 Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011. It released wilderness study areas and forest service road-less areas administered and managed by the Bureau of Land Management from federal protection. The bill was widely opposed by environmentalists and ultimately died in committee.


For the 2012 general election, McCarthy won 73.2% of the vote vs. 26.8% for his No Party Preference (NPP) opponent Terry Phillips.

Personal life[edit]

McCarthy and his wife Judy have two children. They are lifelong residents of Bakersfield.[2]

In 2000, he was elected as a trustee on the Kern Community College District board.[2] He has also been on the board of directors for Community Action Partnership of Kern.[3]


External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by
Roy Ashburn
Member of the California Assembly
from the 32nd district

Succeeded by
Jean Fuller
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Thomas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Devin Nunes
Preceded by
Lois Capps
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 23rd congressional district

Preceded by
Jim Clyburn
Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dave Cox
Leader of the Republican Party in the California Assembly
Succeeded by
George Plescia
Preceded by
Eric Cantor
Republican Chief Deputy Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Peter Roskam
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
David Loebsack
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jerry McNerney