Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie is backing fellow Republican Liberty Caucus member and Tea Party favorite Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, to fill the House Majority Leader chair left vacant by Eric Cantor, who lost in a primary.

According to, Massie warned the GOP should not ignore the call for a change in leadership that Republican voters in Virginia sent on Tuesday by electing Tea Party favorite David Brat over Cantor.

“It’s never happened before where a majority leader has lost a primary,” Massie said. “These are extraordinary circumstances. It presents us with an extraordinary opportunity. Some say Raul is an underdog and doesn’t have as much of a chance of winning as Kevin. I say he has a Dave Brat chance of winning.”

House Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., joins Labrador as the only Republicans who have announced they want to be considered for the House Majority Leader position.

Republican lawmakers will decide June 19 with a secret ballot.

The Republican Liberty Caucus released the following statement regarding Labrador:

“Labrador’s election as Majority Leader,” according to RLC National Chair Matt Nye, “would represent an acknowledgement by House members that Eric Cantor’s primary loss last week is a sign that new ideas are gaining influence in the Party. More and more, Republicans are asking that the Party return to its small government roots, and Labrador represents that element of the Party well.”

“After Labrador’s name was mentioned as a potential candidate for Majority Leader, the RLC National Board looked at the options, reviewed Labrador’s history—which includes a 90% rating on the RLC’s most recent Liberty Index—and determined that Labrador was an exceptional candidate for the position.”

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