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Texans Drop Out of House Leadership Race

Also, Perry makes all sorts of headlines in California.

U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's surprise loss on Tuesday in his Virginia primary set off an unexpected contest within the House GOP conference for the leadership position. Dallas Republican Pete Sessions was in the mix for the post, along with California Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

But Sessions withdrew his name from consideration on Thursday evening. According to Politico, Sessions said, "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."

Another Dallas-area Republican, Jeb Hensarling, had earlier taken himself out of the running for majority leader. His name has also popped as a potential successor to John Boehner as speaker of the House.

With Sessions out of the running, McCarthy is now the only declared candidate for the leadership post.

The Texas Republican delegation is the largest in the conference and thus could have had some influence on the results of a leadership contest. Todd Gillman of The Dallas Morning News wrote earlier that Sessions and Hensarling met privately on Wednesday to ensure the delegation would not be split. A united front would have been essential for Sessions' chances against McCarthy, who is closely associated with Cantor and Paul Ryan through their Young Guns association.

Ryan had already endorsed McCarthy for majority leader.

*****

Gov. Rick Perry has had a headline-grabbing trip to California, but you'd be forgiven for not thinking it was the same man responsible for all of the headlines.

The Los Angeles Times reported Perry being complimentary of Hillary Clinton, of all people, calling her a "very capable public servant." He also drove a Tesla across the street from the California Capitol, saying the car would look better with a "Made in Texas" bumper sticker even though the only thing the state is in the running for is a battery factory for the electric car manufacturer.

But what really set social media ablaze were his comments to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco equating homosexuality to alcoholism. The San Francisco Chronicle noted that his comment drew murmurs of disapproval from the crowd, which the paper said contained many Perry supporters.

Also of note was his diagnosis of Cantor's defeat. The Chronicle quoted Perry as saying, "Having been involved in elected office for 30 years now, it's pretty simple: Spend plenty of time in your home district." Interesting words, considering how far Perry was from his home district.

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