Louisiana: Scalise bows out of Speaker race. “I’ve never run against Kevin [McCarthy], and wouldn’t run against Kevin,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said on Fox News yesterday. Scalise clears the way for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to succeed Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who had announced he will not seek reelection. Ryan said he was “encouraged” by Scalise’s announcement, because it suggests unity in the House GOP, reports Roll Call ……. Tennessee: Corker to support Pompeo. US Sen. Bob Corker (R), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced yesterday that he will “avidly” support former CIA Director Mike Pompeo to become Secretary of State. At a committee hearing on the nomination, Corker said to Pompeo, “You have the personal characteristics to lead the State Department in a way that generates the kind of culture and levers that we need around the world for active diplomacy.” ……. Texas: Stockman convicted. Former US Rep. Steve Stockman (R), once a player in the Reagan Administration’s economic policy and more recently a far-right member of Congress, was convicted by a federal jury in Houston of 23 of the 24 counts in his indictment. The case involved a scheme to disguise campaign donations as charitable donations, which Stockman used for personal expenses and to pay campaign debts, reports the Houston Chronicle …….