No. 2 House Republican likely top contender for speaker: lawmaker
U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is the likely leading contender to replace outgoing House Speaker John Boehner, Republican Representative Peter King told Reuters on Friday following Boehner's resignation announcement.
SEE ALSO: GOP Lawmakers: Speaker Boehner to resign end of October
King made his remarks after leaving the closed door meeting at which he said Boehner surprised the entire rank and file, including McCarthy, with his announcement.
See photos of Kevin McCarthy:
Asked why he was resigning, King said it was "to avoid putting the party through tumult." Boehner repeatedly over the past five years has been challenged by small-government Tea Party activists and other conservatives who have demanded a more confrontational approach by the speaker with President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress.
More from AOL.com:
NASA: Making oxygen, sending people to Mars
Swiss police open criminal case against FIFA head Blatter
Pope beseeches world leaders to protect the environment