Republicans pick McCarthy as House majority leader

Newly elected House Majority Leader McCarthy speaks with reporters as he walks to the Capitol after his election
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Newly elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks with reporters as he walks to the Capitol after his election in Washington June 19, 2014. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House of Representatives Republicans on Thursday chose Kevin McCarthy of California as the chamber's next majority leader, a Republican aide announced.

McCarthy, currently the party's No. 3 leader in the House, defeated Representative Raul Labrador in the secret ballot contest to succeed Eric Cantor as the No. 2 House Republican.

Cantor is stepping down as majority leader July 31 after his surprise loss to a Tea Party movement challenger in a Virginia primary election last week.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Bill Trott)