WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservative Rep. Raul Labrador says it would be a mistake to promote the current Republican leadership team in the race for majority leader.

In a letter to colleagues late Monday, Labrador urged Republicans to back his long-shot candidacy over Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current No. 3 in the House leadership. He said even those GOP lawmakers who have committed to McCarthy should rethink their position.

The election to replace recently defeated Rep. Eric Cantor will be Thursday. McCarthy appears to have all but nailed down the job as the No. 2 leader in the House, behind Speaker John Boehner. McCarthy has a more moderate voting record than Labrador and has developed strong ties to many colleagues by raising money for their campaigns.  Labrador, from Idaho, launched his bid last Friday.