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Magsig Challenges McClintock, Exits Special Election for Nunes Seat
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 years ago on
January 31, 2022

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Nathan Magsig is dropping his bid to run in a special election for Congress and instead will take on a longtime GOP stalwart in a newly-drawn district that includes north Fresno.

“This morning, I’m excited to announce my candidacy for California’s 5th Congressional District,” Magsig, R-Clovis, told GV Wire. “The seat, which covers much of California Gold Country and key portions of the San Joaquin Valley, draws into portions of my Fresno County Supervisorial district near to my heart.”

With Monday’s decision, Magsig will bring a fight to an incumbent congressman who already announced he is running for Congressional District 5 — Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove.

Magsig will run without his party’s support. On Friday, McClintock announced the unanimous endorsement of the eight county Republican parties — including Fresno County. Former congressman Devin Nunes, who previously said that he would remain neutral, also has endorsed McClintock.

“We continue to be pleased with the overwhelming support amongst Republicans in the 5th district. It’s a free country and if someone wants to run for Congress against Congressman McClintock they can. It’s not going to change the outcome of the primary,” McClintock’s campaign tells GV Wire.

Magsig, a Fresno County Supervisor, was one of the first to announce he would run for the special Congressional District 22 election, vacated when Nunes resigned Jan. 1. Nunes took a position as CEO of former President Donald Trump’s new media company.

Now, Magsig will focus on the full-term seat.

McClintock currently represents CD 4 and is seeking his eighth term.

The FEC reports McClintock with $372,569 cash on hand. Magsig says he has raised $142,000. Both amounts are through Dec. 31.

Fire Protection a Motivation

Magsig, in his statement, said the 2020 Creek Fire became a motivating factor to run.

“Wide swaths of Fresno County foothills were turned to ash in the Creek Fire, at the time the worst wildfire in California’s history. While Gov. Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris staged photo-ops in the rubble, I spent weeks coordinating with Cal Fire and U.S. Forest Service fire crews to relieve the burden of communicating to my neighbors about rescue operations and whether their homes were still standing,” Magsig said.

“Out of the ashes, I’ve fought harder than ever against the legal tricks utilized by well-funded, far-flung environmental groups to turn every available law and regulation into stumbling blocks to responsibly manage our forests and, in turn, making wildfires deadlier,” Magsig said.

Magsig Is Former Clovis Councilman, McClintock a Former State Lawmaker

portrait of Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove
Tom McClintock

Magsig, 45, is in his second term and fifth year on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. Prior to his 2016 election to the seat, he served 16 years on the Clovis City Council.

He grew up in Clovis, and attended Fresno State. His biography includes work as a youth pastor, legislative staffer in the state assembly, executive director for a non-profit affordable housing developer, and work at the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission.

McClintock, 65, served in the state Assembly, representing Thousand Oaks (Ventura County) from 1982-1992 and 1996-2000. In between, he ran unsuccessfully for Congress and for state controller. He also served in the state Senate from 2000-2008.

In 2008, he successfully ran for the congressional seat in the Sacramento suburbs, hundreds of miles away from his Thousand Oaks home. He eventually moved near his district and currently lives in Elk Grove.

McClintock also ran for controller again in 2002, the special governor election in 2003, and for lieutenant governor in 2006.

Primaries Coming Up

Republican voters in two districts, with some overlap, will vote on a candidate to fill the seat held by Nunes and for a new representative.

The CD 22 primary takes place on April 5. If no candidate received a majority of votes for the district which includes parts of Fresno and Tulare counties, the top-two vote-getters will advance to a June 7 runoff. The CD 22 term ends Jan. 3, 2023.

Magsig had been scheduled to participate in a forum of GOP candidates on Tuesday. Connie Conway, Elizabeth Heng and Michael Maher are also scheduled at the 6 p.m. event at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fresno.

The following is a list of candidates who have filed to run for the special CD 22 election:

Connie Conway, R-Tulare

Elizabeth Heng, R-Fresno

Michael Maher, R-Kingsburg

John Estrada, R-Fresno

Matt Stoll, R-Visalia

Noah Junio, American Independent Party-Tipton

Eric Garcia, D-Clovis

Lourin Hubbard, D-Fresno.


Current Congressional District 22 map for April 5 primary.

Who is Running in CD 5 Election

The CD 5 primary takes place on June 7. The top-two vote-getters, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election.

The official nomination period opens on Feb. 14, but candidates can now pull papers to collect signatures instead of paying a fee of $1,740.

The following is a list of other candidates who have either pulled papers or registered with the Federal Election Commission to raise fund for the CD-5 race:

John Estrada, R-Fresno

Benjamin Stopper, R-Valley Springs

Clarissa Powell, NPP-Jenny Lind

Michael Barkley, D-Manteca

Steve Wozniak, NPP-Modesto

Jolene Daly, R-Modesto

Kelsten Charles Obert, R-Modesto

David Nathan Main, R-Cameron Park

Scott Giblin, R-Santa Rosa

And no, the Steve Wozniak who pulled papers in Stanislaus County did not create Apple Computers.

Read Magsig’s Full Statement

“This morning, I’m excited to announce my candidacy for California’s 5th Congressional District.“The seat, which covers much of California Gold Country and key portions of the San Joaquin Valley, draws into portions of my Fresno County Supervisorial district near to my heart.

“Since I was elected to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors in 2016, I have made it my goal to be a strong voice for the residents of the Sierra foothills and communities on the Valley floor.

“In 2020, that goal became a mission.

“Wide swaths of Fresno County foothills were turned to ash in the Creek Fire, at the time the worst wildfire in California’s history.

“While Gov. Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris staged photo-ops in the rubble, I spent weeks coordinating with Cal Fire and U.S. Forest Service fire crews to relieve the burden of communicating to my neighbors about rescue operations and whether their homes were still standing.

“Out of the ashes, I’ve fought harder than ever against the legal tricks utilized by well-funded, far-flung environmental groups to turn every available law and regulation into stumbling blocks to responsibly manage our forests and, in turn, making wildfires deadlier.

“In recent weeks, I’ve heard from too many residents and neighbors calling for someone in Washington that fully embraces the word “Representative” – not just a strong voice, but a leader who listens to the needs of their neighbors.

“It’s a tall mountain to climb to be that kind of leader. But in the 5th District, we’re not afraid of a little uphill battle.

“I did not reach today’s decision lightly.

“More than a month ago, I announced my candidacy to replace an incredible leader, Rep. Devin Nunes.

“In the ensuing weeks, it has become clear that the pathway for an all-but-certain June special election for the old 22nd Congressional district means that the winner of the race will serve in Congress for no more than 40 working days.

“After prayerful reflection and consultation with my family and supporters, our region deserves longer term leadership in Congress.

“I’m excited to roll up my sleeves, hit the road, and meet with neighbors across the 5th District to share my vision for restoring local control, keeping our communities and forests safe, and delivering water supplies to the Central Valley.”

Congressional District 5 at a Glance

Neither Magsig nor McClintock live in the district. And, neither live in the area that represents the largest portion of CD 5, Stanislaus County, and its biggest city, Modesto.

In CD 5, 43% of the registered voters live in Stanislaus County. Modesto is the biggest individual city, 22%, with Fresno next at 14%.

McClintock will have several overlapping voters between his old district and new, mostly in the Gold County/mountain areas.

 Population Percentage of district
CD 5            760,065 100.00%
Amador County              36,592 4.81%
Amador City                    201 0.03%
Ione                 4,915 0.65%
Jackson                 5,037 0.66%
Plymouth                 1,082 0.14%
Sutter Creek                 2,653 0.35%
Remainder of county              22,704 2.99%
Calaveras County              45,306 5.96%
Angels                 3,670 0.48%
Remainder of county              41,636 5.48%
El Dorado County            127,234 16.74%
Placerville              10,783 1.42%
Remainder of county            116,451 15.32%
Fresno County            122,619 16.13%
Fresno city            105,435 13.87%
Remainder of county              17,184 2.26%
Madera County              30,484 4.01%
Mariposa County              17,094 2.25%
Stanislaus County            327,728 43.12%
Hughson                 7,499 0.99%
Modesto            169,495 22.30%
Oakdale              23,242 3.06%
Riverbank              24,933 3.28%
Turlock              44,846 5.90%
Waterford                 9,149 1.20%
Remainder of county              48,564 6.39%
Tuolumne County              53,008 6.97%
Sonora                 5,046 0.66%
Remainder of county              47,962 6.31%
[Update 1/31/2021, 10 a.m.: McClintock received support of all eight county Republican parties, not just the chairs as originally reported.]

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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