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New House speaker: How McCarthy’s California constituents see him



The young man smiling in the last Bakersfield High School student newspaper for the 1983 school year was captioned – “Most Likely to Succeed.”

That graduating student wasn’t then-senior Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican who on Saturday became the House speaker for the 118th US Congress, a powerful position that puts him second in line to the American presidency.

“I was most likely to succeed,” laughs Marshall Dillard, McCarthy’s classmate and friend. “I’m sure he’s surprised some of his teachers. You’d have never thought this if you saw Kevin in high school.”

The lighthearted teasing traces back to Dillard and McCarthy on the high school football field in Bakersfield, California. The team was and is still called “The Drillers,” a reference to the oil industry of the district. Bakersfield sits in the southern end of California’s Central Valley and is one of the largest cities in the state’s 20th Congressional District.

It’s the district McCarthy represents…

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