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Local political leaders confident McCarthy will prevail

Local Republican leaders stood by Rep. Kevin McCarthy after his failure Tuesday to win enough votes to become speaker of the House, and even Kern’s top Democrat predicted Bakersfield’s most powerful politician will eventually claim the gavel, as consensus emerged that the televised balloting laid bare festering division within the GOP.

Fellow Central Valley Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, speaking by phone during Tuesday’s third and final round of inconclusive voting on who should become second in line to the presidency, accused Republican holdouts of “wasting everyone’s time” by continuing to vote for candidates with relatively little support.