"After thoughtful consideration and discussion with my colleagues, I have made the decision to not continue my run for House Majority Leader," he said in a statement. "Today, it became obvious to me that the measures necessary to run a successful campaign would have created unnecessary and painful division within our party. At this critical time, we must remain unified as a Republican Conference. As always, I stand ready and willing to work with our team to advance the conservative agenda that the American people demand and deserve."
There's still time for an upstart conservative challenger to make some noise. But McCarthy, who was already seen as the clear favorite, is now in a commanding position.