Rep. Jeb Hensarling will not run for House majority leader in next week's special election, according to sources familiar with his decision. [...] Hensarling's decision is a blow to House conservatives, as he was the last of their preferred candidates to be seriously considering a run against McCarthy.That leaves House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions as McCarthy's sole challenger:
And it also leaves McCarthy confident of a win—or at least pretending to be confident:
At a Wednesday night dinner with Washington donors, Kevin McCarthy all but declared victory in his race for majority leader.I don't have any spies or bugging devices inside the GOP conference, and at least on the surface Sessions does seem to be a dramatically smaller threat to McCarthy than did Hensarling, but this much seems clear: Member of the House GOP leadership who make predictions like McCarthy's don't have the best track record of late.
The California Republican confidently predicted that he had enough votes to win the race for majority leader, according to sources present. His office declined to comment.