(Editor’s note: California’s Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the Congressional Majority Leader, is considered a leading candidate to become the next Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives. If he becomes speaker he will be the second Speaker of the House from California in the last decade following Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco who served as Speaker from 2007 to 2011.)

Since I first came to Congress in 2007, John has been serving his constituents and his country with unparalleled passion. John has been a leader, mentor, and most of all friend throughout, and I learned not only from his experience but also from his unshakeable faith and principles. It takes profound humility to step down from a position of power, and John’s depth of character is unmatched.

As our country has weathered difficult times at home and abroad, John has acted as a true statesman, always moving forward with the best interests of the American people close to his heart. He will be missed because there is simply no one else like him.

Now is the time for our conference to focus on healing and unifying to face the challenges ahead and always do what is best for the American people.