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Dan Bishop voted to keep Kevin McCarthy, while Patrick McHenry is now interim speaker

 Dan Bishop speaks to reporters; CNN screengrab
Dan Bishop speaks to reporters outside the U.S. Capitol during the debt ceiling fight.

Charlotte area Republican Rep. Dan Bishop — a longtime Kevin McCarthy critic — voted in favor of keeping him as Speaker of the U.S. House Tuesday.

But Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina’s First District was one of eight Republicans who joined Democrats and voted successfully to remove him. That came as somewhat of a surprise, after McCarthy supported her last campaign and Mace cast herself as more of a centrist.

It was the first time in U.S. history a House speaker has been removed.

Bishop, of Waxhaw, is a member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus. He had previously floated the idea of ousting the speaker during the heated fight over the debt ceiling earlier this year.

But he said Tuesday he would not vote to remove McCarthy because doing so would offer no path of success — only chaos.

He also said that since he is leaving Congress, it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to vote against McCarthy. Bishop is running for North Carolina attorney general next year.

During the debate in the House, GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry of the 10th District in Hickory and Mooresville, urged his colleagues to stick with McCarthy.

“With this record of success that we’ve seen Kevin McCarthy and a Republican majority produce in a Washington run by Democrats we’re going to throw that away resulting in more liberal outcomes not more conservative ones,” he said before the vote.

After McCarthy was removed, McHenry became the interim speaker.

Republican Ralph Norman of Rock Hill, another hard-right congressman, also backed McCarthy.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.
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