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Politics 101

McCarthy Backs McClintock in Congressional Race Against Magsig



Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, left, and Rep. Tom McClintock. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Rep. Tom McClintock has received the endorsement of the entire California Republican congressional delegation — including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield — in his 2022 re-election bid.

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David Taub

Politics 101

“He is a leader in the House when it comes to streamlining forest management in our National Forests, guaranteeing water deliveries to our farms in the Central Valley, and combatting the tidal wave of illegal immigration on our southern border,” McCarthy said of McClintock.

McClintock, R-Elk Grove, is running in District 5, which includes a wide swath of Gold Country counties, as well as northwest Fresno. The seven-term congressman represents District 4 but switched because of redistricting.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, a fellow Republican from Clovis, is among several running for the seat.

Also in Politics 101: 

  • Mike Briggs launches city council campaign.
  • Briggs addresses 1986 no-contest plea.
  • Esmeralda Soria and Mike Karbassi are registered in new homes.
  • Arballo picks up key labor endorsement in battle versus Adam Gray for Assembly.
  • Legislative Black Caucus backs Leondra Kruger for Supreme Court.

Briggs Launches City Council Campaign

Mike Briggs launched his Fresno City Council campaign between raindrops Tuesday in the Tower District. Cleaning up crime and trash are his top concerns.

“We will dispatch the homeless from our neighborhoods. We will dispatch the homeless to an appropriate place. We will sweep the streets and garbage, filth and hypodermic needles, and human excrement and will clean up the graffiti,” Briggs said. “We will find out where we will find those who break car windows. We’ll find those who break shop windows, who hold them accountable and we’ll put them in jail.”

Briggs also delved into a rant about the Fresno Grizzlies no longer being a Giants affiliate nor playing at the highest level of minor league baseball.

“I start with the solution, the outcome I want. … So the city needs to decide it wants a AAA team and then we can start working on that. So but just saying, oh, we’re going to take whatever we get, whatever happens, OK? It may take us, (to) rally the citizens of the city to fill those stadium seats. That’s probably why we lost the affiliation,” Briggs told Politics 101.

Mike Briggs officially announces his candidacy to run for Fresno City Council. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Briggs Addresses Past No-contest Plea

When he ran for city council in 1994, The Fresno Bee reported about Briggs’ 1986 no-contest plea to having unlawful sex with a 17-year-old girl. Briggs was 26 years old at the time, and the girl was reportedly a guitar lesson student of his.

Under a judge’s decree, Briggs withdrew his plea and the case was dismissed after six months of good behavior.

What would Briggs tell constituents if the issue comes up in the campaign?

“It came up again before and you know it’s out there. The last line says ‘dismissed in the interest of justice.’ And you know, that’s where I’ve always left it,” Briggs said. “I never really got a chance to defend myself or anything. (The judge) offered me an out and I took it. And it was 40 years ago. I thought it was the right thing to do.”

Soria, Karbassi Officially Move

Esmeralda Soria officially filed to run for Assembly District 27 seat last week. The district covers parts of Merced, Madera, and Fresno counties.

To run for Assembly while still maintaining eligibility as a Fresno city councilmember, Soria registered at an address near Polk and Shaw avenues. She was previously registered at a home near the Fresno High School neighborhood.

The three-bedroom house was listed as a rental for $2,100 per month.

Mike Karbassi, also a Fresno city councilmember and running for AD 27, had to move as well to maintain his council eligibility. He moved into a house he purchased in 2020 near Herndon and Hayes avenues — a few blocks west of his previous residence.

Two others have filed papers to run — Amanda Fleming, a Firebaugh Republican who lists herself as a “Mother/Agricultural Retailer”; and Vanessa Villegas, a Merced Republican.

Arballo Gains Union Support

Phil Arballo, a Fresno Democrat running for Congress, picked up an endorsement from the SEIU public employee labor union. At the same time, he criticized fellow Democrat and Congressional District 13 opponent Adam Gray of representing special interests. Gray is a Merced Assemblyman.

“Someone who cozies up to corporate interests and sells out his constituents like voting against raising the minimum wage has no business receiving the Democratic Party endorsement,” Arballo said in a news release.

The Arballo campaign said that SEIU is not a special interest group.

“Unlike the tobacco industry and gun lobby that support Adam Gray, SEIU represents thousands of hardworking Californians who make up the backbone of our communities, and Phil is proud to have their endorsement,” Arballo’s campaign manager Ryan Mulcahy told Politics 101.

Gray received 68% of the vote at the Democratic Party’s pre-endorsement polling over Arballo. That entire state caucus will decide whom it will back at its meeting next month.

Mike Lynch, Gray’s campaign manager, brushed Arballo’s chances off.

“Phil doesn’t have a record. Phil’s only record is that he’s a perennial candidate,” Lynch told Politico.

Arballo ran against Devin Nunes for Congress in 2020 and lost.

Others who have filed to run include Republican businessman David Giglio of Madera County; Diego Martinez, a Republican from Sonora; and educator Angelina Sigala, a Democrat from Modesto. The district covers parts of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, and Fresno counties.

Matt Stoll, the Visalia Republican running the special election to fill the vacancy by the resignation of Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, in CD 22, has filed paperwork to raise funds. He is listed by the FEC as running in CD 13.

Leondra Kruger, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California, is among the group of Black women, both judges and lawyers, whose names are being floated as a possible replacement for retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.(AP/Jeff Chiu, File)

Legislative Black Caucus Backs Kruger for High Court

As President Joe Biden considers his Supreme Court pick, a group of California legislators say the choice is easy — California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.

Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus, calls Kruger “perfectly suited” for the job.

“She would be a model of encouragement for young women to continue to strive. But not just women, (but also) young people to see someone of their generation,” Holden said.

Bradford addressed criticism that Biden limited himself by announcing he would pick a black woman to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t think the president would appoint anyone to the court or even attempt to identify a nominee who did not have the wherewithal, did not have the legal scholar background, and have not proven themselves worthy, that can also stand up under review,” Holden said. “There’s no one like her on the court. And if diversity and diversity of thought and background matter to good decision making and inclusiveness, then it would be an outstanding person to represent them.”

CNN reported that Biden has already met with Kruger and two other possible nominees.

Biden is expected to announce his pick within the next week to fill the vacancy by the impending retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.


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