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Voters Deciding Who Will Serve Out Former Speaker McCarthy’s Congressional Term

Voters Deciding Who Will Serve Out Former Speaker McCarthy’s Congressional Term

Rep. Kevin McCarthy speaks at a news conference in Washington on Nov. 15, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

5/21/2024

Updated: 5/27/2024

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Voters in California’s 20th Congressional District will decide on May 21 who will fill former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s seat for the remainder of the year.
In a special election March 19, Assemblyman Vince Fong and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux received the most support, respectively, for the position—with Mr. Fong receiving 42 percent of the vote to Mr. Boudreaux’s 26 percent.
Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the votes, the two will now face off to succeed Mr. McCarthy, whose resignation last December left a vacancy in Congress.
Both candidates will appear on the ballot again in November to determine who will be seated in the full two-year term starting next year.
Eligible California voters residing in portions of Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare Counties making up the 20th District received ballots in the mail—which must be postmarked by May 21—or they can vote in person.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day, with ballot boxes placed throughout the region.
The district is one of the few politically red regions in the state, having elected Republican candidates consistently since 2003—with approximately 47 percent of registered voters listed as Republicans and 27 percent as Democrats.
Mr. Fong faced legal challenges from Shirley Weber, California’s secretary of state, earlier this year. While Ms. Weber attempted to disqualify the Assemblyman from running for state and federal offices at the same time, multiple state courts found for Mr. Fong and allowed his congressional campaign to continue.
He noted on his website that the choice to run for Congress was a difficult one.
“However, it is my strong belief that the Central Valley must continue to be represented by proven, conservative leaders in Congress,” Mr. Fong said. “In light of recent developments and in an attempt to unite our community in this critical moment in our nation’s history, I have decided to run for Congress in 2024.”
With a lengthy career in politics, he said he is committed to serving his constituents and fighting for water and energy resources, securing the border, opposing new taxes, and working to stifle inflation.
“In Congress, I will focus on the pressing issues impacting our quality of life,” Mr. Fong said.
Earlier this year, he received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
“In Congress, Vince will work with me to grow the economy, lower your taxes, cut burdensome regulations, champion American energy, and protect and defend the Second Amendment, which is under siege by the radical left,” Mr. Trump posted on the Truth social media platform March 17. “I am proud to join California’s congressional Republican delegation and give Vince Fong my complete and total endorsement.”
Mr. Boudreaux—sheriff and president of the California State Sheriff’s Association—has a distinguished 37-year career with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and has served as sheriff since October 2013.
“I will ensure that my leadership in Congress—just like it has as sheriff—will reflect the values of limited government, a safer California, and a stronger border,” Mr. Boudreaux said on his campaign website.
The sheriff said his career prepared him for a role in politics and suggested his unique background will help him serve Californians.
“I have fought and pushed back,” Mr. Boudreaux posted March 30 on X. “Elect strength and not the swamp.”
He has received numerous endorsements, including from the California Republican Assembly—a volunteer run organization established in 1935 and dubbed the “conscience of the Republican Party” by former President Ronald Reagan.
“While all of the candidates had much to offer and would represent us well, only one stood ready to tackle the main issue on everyone’s mind: rampant out of control crime coupled with a porous border fueling it,” Greg Perrone, president of the greater Bakersfield Republican Assembly, said on the sheriff’s campaign website. “That someone is Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. The [California Republican Assembly] endorsed Mike Boudreaux because we believe he is ready to represent the district with experience and integrity on Day 1.”
After the polls close, results could take weeks to determine in the event of a close race due to mail-in ballots.
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Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore

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Travis Gillmore is an avid reader and journalism connoisseur based in California covering finance, politics, the State Capitol, and breaking news for The Epoch Times.

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