Rep. McCarthy Seeking to Replace Speaker Ryan

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House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday endorsed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to succeed him as House speaker when Ryan steps down at the end of the year.

"We all think Kevin is the right person to become speaker", Ryan said in an interview to air Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press.

"I think we all believe that Kevin is the right person", Ryan, who announced his retirement this week, told moderator Chuck Todd in an excerpt of the exclusive interview released Friday.

Speaker Paul Ryan said he and other members of the Republican leadership support Rep.

White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the President and McCarthy "have a great relationship", but did not say who he wants to fill the role.

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Neither McCarthy nor Scalise have yet declared their intentions, though both men have been jockeying behind the scenes for the top spot in the House GOP conference.

On Wednesday, Ryan, R-Wis., announced that he would not be seeking re-election in November, a move that ends a almost two-decade career in Congress. House Republicans are now expected to hold their leadership elections in November following the midterm elections.

Scalise, the third-highest ranking Republican in the chamber, has insisted that he would not challenge McCarthy despite speculation that he might want to replace Ryan. McCarthy backed out of a leadership race three years ago amid similar divisions. Ryan said he wished to spend more time with his family in Janesville, Wis.

Neither McCarthy nor Scalise has announced he will run for speaker.

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