House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi could have their political careers defined by what happens Nov. 6 in their home state of California.
The Central Valley Republican and the San Francisco Democrat are fighting to win the House majority and, with it, the right to try to round up enough votes to become speaker. And the majority could easily swing on the outcome of up to 10 California seats, setting the stage for a late night — and possibly days and weeks of drawn-out drama given the Golden State’s proclivity for counting its votes very slowly.
Since early last year both McCarthy, 53, and Pelosi, 78, realized that their state would host the largest number of contested House races, dedicating a large amount of time and resources to California, particularly a cluster of districts around Los Angeles and San Diego that sided with Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in 2016. Ever since House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) announced in April that he would retire, the McCarthy-Pelosi jousting in California has resulted in something akin to a shadow boxing match with a chance to make history.
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