Who Will Be America's Next Top Eric Cantor?

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stunningly lost his primary to Tea Party challenger and Ayn Rand scholar Dave Brat on Tuesday. So lesser Republicans of the House have wasted no time in puffing themselves up to be the next Cantor (yeesh), and current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy says he's got it in the bag.

The race is, unsurprisingly, between white guys. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers — the 4th-ranking Republican in the House who the party likes to trot out during equal pay debates — reassured everyone Wednesday that she would not seek Cantor's job. So California's silver fox McCarthy will duke it out with Tea Partiers eager for (more) control.

Tea Party Texan and financial services chairman Jeb Hensarling, who was rumored to be gunning for Speaker John Boehner's job earlier this month, was the rebels' main hope to get a real conservative in the House leadership. Now sources say he won't actually run, but the Tea Party likely won't let McCarthy just walk away with Cantor's job. Reps. Steve Scalise and Tom Price are in talks, though they're more likely to go for McCarthy's job, if McCarthy gets Cantor's. Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions is definitely running to be the next Majority Leader.

McCarthy reportedly told donors last night that he's got the votes to prevail next Thursday when House Republicans choose their guy. He should make sure he can trust the people counting them for him.

[Image via AP]