From Bakersfield to speaker of the House: Kevin McCarthy’s D.C. career in photos

Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s last day in Congress was Sunday. The Bakersfield Republican congressman and former speaker’s career in Washington, D.C., spanned more than a decade and a half.

Always a prodigious fundraiser, McCarthy rose quickly through the ranks of the House GOP after winning election in 2006. His first attempt to secure the speakership, in 2015, ended in failure. He finally achieved his longtime goal in 2023, after a historic 15-ballot fight. But his grasp on the gavel was short-lived. In early October, eight rebel Republicans joined with Democrats to oust him from the speaker’s chair. In December, he announced he would retire before the end of the year, bringing his congressional career to a close.

Here’s a photographic look at some of the highlights of McCarthy’s time on Capitol Hill.

California’s state Assembly members Dario Frommer, left, Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez, Assembly minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Darrell Steinberg chat before the 2004 budget bill vote in the state Capitol building in Sacramento on May 28, 2004.

(Bloomberg via Getty Images)

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) performs a mock swearing in for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) on Jan. 3, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington as the 113th Congress began.

(Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)

House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), who will lead the 116th Congress, shakes hands with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) as he hands her the gavel at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 3, 2019.

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Then-President Trump and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) disembark from Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport on April 5, 2019, in Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Times)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill on March 11, 2021, in Washington, D.C., about the situation at the U.S. southern border.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) leaves a news conference with two unidentified people Nov. 3, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and other members of the House Republican leadership walk down the steps of the House of Representatives, where members of the National Guard from California were standing at the base of the steps on Capitol Hill on March 11, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), center, prepares to depart after addressing a crowd during an election night watch party at the Westin, City Center, on Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) poses with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), her husband, Paul Pelosi, and others near her portrait following an unveiling ceremony in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol Building on Dec. 14, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) pumps his fist as he votes for himself a 10th time in the House chamber as the House meets for the third day to try to elect a speaker and convene the 118th Congress in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, 2023.

(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) speaks with reporters as he departs a GOP Caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C. That day members of the 118th Congress would be sworn in and the House of Representatives would hold votes on a new speaker of the House.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

President Biden speaks as Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), right, listen during a State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

President Biden, left, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attend the annual Friends of Ireland Caucus St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon in the Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol on March 17, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speak to reporters after meeting with President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) at the White House on May 9, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) turns to walk away after speaking to the media outside the West Wing after meeting with President Biden and other congressional leaders in the White House on Nov. 29, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Biden met with Senate and House leaders to discuss the legislative agenda for the remainder of the year.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times)

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