Sessions quits race for House majority leader

WASHINGTON Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:26pm EDT

U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) talks to reporters as he arrives for a meeting with House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (not pictured) and the House Republican caucus at the U.S. Capitol in Washington June 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) talks to reporters as he arrives for a meeting with House Majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (not pictured) and the House Republican caucus at the U.S. Capitol in Washington June 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Representative Pete Sessions said on Thursday night he was dropping out of the race for House majority leader, leaving just one candidate in the contest to replace Eric Cantor.

"After thoughtful consideration, I made the decision to not continue my run for House Majority Leader," the Texas lawmaker said in a statement. "Today, it became obvious to me that the measures necessary to run a successful campaign would have created unnecessary and painful division within our party.

His decision leaves Representative Kevin McCarthy of California as the only lawmaker known to be lobbying for the No. 2 Republican position in the House of Representatives.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Cooney)

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