Though he raised his profile as a sophomore lawmaker, Rep. Raul Labrador was never a serious factor in Thursday's vote for U.S. House majority leader and was mocked for his lack of preparation.
But his grace in defeat won the loud approval of 232 GOP colleagues, the Washington Post reports.
On Wednesday, Labrador told colleagues a win by GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy would jeopardize GOP prospects for winning the Senate this year and the White House in 2016.
But after he lost the race in Thursday's secret balloting, Labrador bravely rose and urged that the result be unanimous.
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According to the Post:
"...Rep. Raúl Labrador (Idaho), wanted to be the conservative alternative to McCarthy. But Labrador started late and never got close. After it was evident that McCarthy had won, Labrador stood up and called for the vote to be declared unanimous as a signal of party unity.
"The caucus roared its approval. The one thing Labrador had done well was handle defeat."
Labrador declined interview requests Thursday but is expected to talk to reporters this afternoon. Check Saturday's Idaho Statesman print edition and IdahoStatesman.com to learn what he has to say.