Five things to know about Kevin McCarthy, the new House majority leader
June 19, 2014 -- Updated 1959 GMT (0359 HKT)
- Kevin McCarthy, R-California, elected by peers as the No. 2 GOP leader in the House
- Kevin Spacey reportedly shadowed McCarthy to prep for the lead on "House of Cards"
- McCarthy once used the $5,000 he won in a lottery to open a deli to help pay for college
- His meteoric rise might be hindered by immigration positions
Washington (CNN) -- Rep. Kevin McCarthy's election to the No. 2 Republican leadership position in the House was expected by politicos, but this Californian's back story is full of plot twists.
Here are five things you might not know about him:
1. Role model: Actor Kevin Spacey reportedly shadowed McCarthy to prepare for his role as Majority Whip Frank Underwood in the Netflix series "House of Cards." Unlike the duplicitous and murderous Underwood, McCarthy is considered by colleagues to be an affable guy who often invites members to his office to discuss their woes and share takeout food. Still, there are a few similarities. McCarthy once told reporters at the Sacramento Press Club that Underwood's office knickknacks and décor look quite familiar.
2. Funding his future: McCarthy married his high school sweetheart and opened a deli with $5,000 he won in the lottery. According to the Orange County Register, an old menu shows the future politico once served up "fresh Dutch Krunch white rolls every day." He used the money to help pay his way through California State University, Bakersfield.
The real 'House of Cards'
Who gains for Cantor's loss?
Clear path expected for Kevin McCarthy
Cantor defends immigration support
3. Rapid rise: His political ascent has been meteoric. His boss, former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, endorsed the young staffer to replace him in 2006. Since then, he's cruised through every re-election and used his charm, intellect and savvy, friends say, to climb through the House GOP's leadership ranks. Seven years after he first took office, he's now considered the front-runner for the majority leader's job.
4. Workouts and flip-flops: He's a workout buff who, in his spare time, dons the West Coast casual look. At Wednesday's annual softball game between women members of Congress and the media, McCarthy was spotted wearing linen slacks and flip-flops. He reportedly enjoys riding his bike along Rock Creek Park's trails in Washington or working up a sweat to P90X, much like Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.
5. Immigration views could be problematic: Like Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, the outgoing House majority leader, McCarthy has a nuanced position on immigration that could lead to some showdowns with both conservatives and pro-immigration reform advocates. Businesses in his district depend heavily on immigrant labor to work the fertile farmland. His district is also 35% Hispanic, and pro-immigration organizations have vowed to ramp up the pressure on McCarthy to address reform.
Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections
House Republicans elect McCarthy to take Cantor's job
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
See the full results for who won the Senate, House and governor midterm elections.
November 6, 2014 -- Updated 0226 GMT (1026 HKT)
Attention Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and everyone else "seriously considering" a run for president.
November 6, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
You know that Republican doctor who got one of his patients pregnant and then demanded that she get an abortion? Yeah, he won.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 2020 GMT (0420 HKT)
The 2014 midterm elections brought a historic victory for Republicans, handing the GOP its largest congressional majority since World War II.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
It was a tough night for Democrats -- who will be looking for a leader for 2016 -- and a big night for the GOP -- who may have a few more names to consider.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
A Republican tide ripped the Senate away from Democrats, giving the GOP full control of Congress and the power to pin down President Obama.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0247 GMT (1047 HKT)
The House of Representatives remained solidly in Republican hands after Tuesday's midterm election.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell has won re-election in Kentucky, staving off Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, according to a CNN projection.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0706 GMT (1506 HKT)
Sen. Ted Cruz lauded the Republican Senate takeover, but shied away from endorsing Sen. Mitch McConnell to lead the new majority.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
CNN asked commentators for views on the results of the midterm elections, in which the GOP took back the Senate and retained control of the House.
November 6, 2014 -- Updated 0117 GMT (0917 HKT)
South Carolina's Tim Scott became the first African-American senator to win election in the South since Reconstruction.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 1939 GMT (0339 HKT)
Voters in Oregon and D.C. have voted to approve sweeping pro-marijuana legalization while voters in Florida gave the thumbs down.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 1259 GMT (2059 HKT)
Republicans continued their dominance of governor's mansions when a number of GOP leaders fought off stiff challenges from Democrats.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0414 GMT (1214 HKT)
Republican David Perdue has won the race for Georgia's U.S. Senate seat occupied by retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0609 GMT (1409 HKT)
First-term Democratic incumbent North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan lost in a tight contest against GOP challenger Thom Tillis.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0309 GMT (1109 HKT)
Republican Rep. Tom Cotton has defeated Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas, according to a CNN projection.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 1221 GMT (2021 HKT)
Republican Scott Brown lost his second Senate race in two election cycles, failing to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
Former Gov. Charlie Crist conceded Florida's close gubernatorial race against GOP Gov. Rick Scott.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 2349 GMT (0749 HKT)
A majority of Americans are dissatisfied with President Obama's administration and GOP leaders, according to exit polls released and analyzed by CNN.
November 5, 2014 -- Updated 0247 GMT (1047 HKT)
Take a look around the country in our gallery as America votes.
Who's giving to outside groups? It's not just candidates and parties spending the cash.