CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The ouster of now-former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is spotlighting the Speaker Pro Tempore, North Carolina congressman Patrick McHenry.
McHenry, who represents Cleveland, Burke, Catawba, Lincoln, Alexander, Iredell, and a portion of Gaston County in Congress, was appointed to the position Tuesday.
McHenry himself voted to keep McCarthy as House Speaker.
“I wasn’t surprised to see McHenry rise up, but I was surprised at the circumstance that brought him up,” noted Western Carolina University Political Science professor Chris Cooper.
While he may be remembered, at the moment, for a rather forceful gaveling after the vote to remove McCarthy as Speaker, nearly everyone Queen City News has spoken with noted McHenry’s calm and pragmatic nature and willingness to communicate.
“He would always have someone on his team around to make sure what’s happening with the issues,” said Sherry Yocum, chair of the Cleveland County Republican Party.
“He’s always been a hard worker,” said Catawba County Republican Party Chair Bob Meek, Jr.
Cooper noted that McHenry already had significant power in Washington, saying he was “the most powerful member of Congress.”
McHenry has not yet indicated whether he wants the House Speaker role, though some of his constituents want him to pursue the job.
“I wish he would consider running,” said Yocum.