House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., arrives for GOP leadership elections, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 19, 2014. House Republicans elected McCarthy as majority leader, party's No. 2 post. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., the strong favorite to replace House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., arrives with his GOP House allies for leadership elections, Thursday, June 19, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. leaves a Republican Conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, as candidates vying for House GOP leadership posts make their pitches to the rank-and-file in the tumultuous aftermath of House Majority Leader Eric Cantorâs sudden loss last week in his Virginia primary race. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif. arrives in his workout clothes on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 19, 2014. McCarthy is the heavy favorite over Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, to replace Cantor in the second-ranking post in the House GOP leadership (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., the House Republican chief deputy whip, speaks with Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., left, and Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, second from left, as they leaves a meeting, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 19, 2014. With House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the strong favorite to replace Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., as the new majority leader, an intense intramural clash has emerged for the whip post among Roskam, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who runs a conservative faction of lawmakers in the Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 18: House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., leaves a meeting of the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol, June 18, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Republican from Virginia, speaks during a news conference after a House GOP Conference meeting at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Cantor plans to step aside from his leadership post following his primary election loss, as competing Republicans line up to seek his No. 2 position in a caucus vote set for June 19. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announces that he will resign his leadership position in the House of Representatives on July 31, after having lost a primary race to Tea Party-backed college professor David Brat, during a press confernce at United States Capitol Building on June 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) attends a press conference following a meeting of the House Republican conference June 18, 2014 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (D-CA) is the favorite to be elected to the position of House Majority Leader tomorrow to replace Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) who was defeated in primary race last week. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans have made the first change in their leadership since Majority Leader Eric Cantor unexpectedly lost a primary election last week. They've elected California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to replace him in the No. 2 job.
The 49-year-old McCarthy has been GOP whip, the No. 3 post, and his election Thursday was anticipated. He defeated Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, a conservative who has often battled his own party leaders and said voters want change in Washington.
McCarthy came to Congress in 2007 and has climbed rapidly through his party's leadership ranks. He's a close Cantor ally.
House Republicans will also choose a new whip to replace McCarthy. That's a hard-to-predict contest between Reps. Peter Roskam of Illinois, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana.