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*-- Boehner delays House vote for new speaker --*

WASHINGTON - Speaker of the House John Boehner delayed vote to elect his replacement, creating a trickle-down delay for lower posts and giving an advantage to his preferred successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

House Republicans had planned to vote on Thursday by secret ballot for the new speaker, but several members wanted more time to weigh their options. Instead, on Oct. 8, Republicans will choose their party's nominees. On Oct. 29, both House Republicans and Democrats will hold a full vote.

"This new process will ensure House Republicans have a strong, unified team to lead our conference and focus on the American people's priorities," Boehner said.

McCarthy, from California, is facing a new challenge from his former ally, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz. He said McCarthy can't get the necessary 218 votes to become speaker, while McCarthy's allies say Chaffetz is unprepared to lead House Republicans. Florida Rep. Daniel Webster is also running.

Chaffetz threw his hat into the race following McCarthy's comments last week the House investigation into the 2012 attack at Benghazi was politically motivated. He acknowledged McCarthy has a lion's share of the vote.

"These races deserve a little bit of competition, and if we do so in a respectful way, we shouldn't shy away from that," Chaffetz said.

Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the current majority whip, and Georgia Rep. Tom Price, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, have announced they are running to replace McCarthy as House majority leader should he be chosen as Speaker.


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