Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Friday he will finish his congressional term and run for re-election, denying media reports that suggested the Republican would resign from Congress before the end of his term.
McCarthy’s future has been the subject of speculation since he became the first House speaker in U.S. history to be ousted from that position, after angering hardline critics in his party.
Citing sources, CNN reported earlier on Friday that McCarthy was expected to step down from Congress and that he did not plan to get involved in the race for a new speaker.
“No, I’m not resigning. I’m staying, so don’t worry,” McCarthy told reporters on Friday when asked about the report.
“We’re going to keep the majority. I’m going to help the people I got here, and we’re going to expand it.”
The slim 221-212 Republican majority in the House is preparing to select McCarthy’s replacement. Republicans are scheduled to vote for a nominee on Wednesday, though it make take a while for them to settle on a candidate.
Two Republican lawmakers are campaigning to replace McCarthy: Steve Scalise, who was second to McCarthy on the leadership ladder, and Jim Jordan, an outspoken conservative who has the endorsement of former Republican President Donald Trump.
At least one other lawmaker, Kevin Hern, has said he may run as well.