June 19, 2014 at 6:52 am

A divided House GOP prepares to pick new leaders

Washington — House Republicans are meeting Thursday to fill vacancies in their leadership team in the aftermath of last week’s unexpected primary defeat of their No. 2 leader, Virginia congressman Eric Cantor.

Right now, California congressman Kevin McCarthy looks likely to win that No. 2 post of majority leader.

He’s being challenged by a conservative rebel, second-term Idaho congressman Raul Labrador, who says Cantor’s defeat shows voters think Congress is out of touch and its leaders must be replaced.

But the race to replace McCarthy as the third-ranking Republican — the majority whip — seems unpredictable.

The contenders are Reps. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, leader of an organization of House conservatives; Peter Roskam of Illinois, McCarthy’s deputy whip; and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, who may attract votes from tea party lawmakers.