|Republicans in chaos as favorite quits House leadership race|
Republicans in Washington faced a sudden leadership vacuum on Thursday when the front-runner to take control of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, dropped out of the race in a surprise that raised concerns about the party's ability to govern effectively. Representative McCarthy, the No. 2 House Republican, had been expected to win Thursday's contest for the nomination to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner despite opposition from more conservative lawmakers who have called for a confrontational approach toward Democratic President Barack Obama's agenda. Instead, lacking the mandate he thought he needed to be an effective speaker, McCarthy stunned his colleagues by bowing out.