Texas Rep. Pete Sessions is dropping his bid for majority leader, clearing the field for California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to secure the No. 2 job in the House.
In a statement late Thursday, Sessions said that after thoughtful consideration and discussion with his colleagues, he had decided not to continue his run.
The chairman of the Rules Committee said it became obvious that a successful campaign for the post would have created painful divisions within the party and the GOP must remain unified.
The announcement comes two days after Rep. Eric Cantor's stunning primary loss. Cantor announced on Wednesday he would step down as majority leader at the end of July.
The election for majority leader is slated for June 19.