Newsom Delays Special Election To Replace McCarthy

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the special primary election to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would be conducted on March 19. This gives Republican aspirants more time than anticipated to run for the reliably red seat.
On May 21, there will be a runoff if it is required.

On the advice of county authorities, the governor postponed the special primary election from March 5 to a later date instead of merging it with the state’s primary. The governor’s office said that counties in the Bakersfield-area district were worried that a merged election would cause problems with money and voters.

There will be a simultaneous election to complete McCarthy’s term and another to follow him. On Monday, Assemblymember Vince Fong confirmed that he, too, will run in the special election to fill the vacancy left by his longtime mentor, McCarthy, and complete the rest of McCarthy’s term.

David Giglio, a past candidate for Congress, and Mike Boudreaux, sheriff of Tulare County, are among the other Republicans running for the seat.

After a brief and turbulent term as speaker, McCarthy announced his retirement in December. The far-right Freedom Caucus had an unceremonious ouster of McCarthy. Although McCarthy has expressed his intention to continue participating in GOP recruiting and fundraising initiatives, the dismissal of McCarthy from his position was seen as a devastating blow to Republicans in California, particularly its vulnerable House members.

After Secretary of State Shirley Weber said that Fong could not simultaneously compete for his assembly and congressional seats, he is now engaged in a legal struggle to maintain his ballot position.

State Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), who was generally seen as a formidable possible challenger, shocked the Central Valley by opting not to run, prompting him to reconsider his decision and register for reelection instead of running for McCarthy’s seat.