In-person voting starts this weekend for voters in Fresno and Tulare counties who will pick a short-term successor to Rep. Devin Nunes, who resigned in January. Mail-in ballots for the special election began arriving at voters’ homes two weeks ago.
In Fresno County, the election office will open five voting centers on Saturday for those who wish to cast their ballot in person or need assistance. The locations are Clovis City Hall, Orange Cove Library, Woodward Park Regional Library, Sunnyside Library in Fresno, and the Fresno County Elections Office in downtown Fresno.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. including weekends. Multiple drop box locations are also available county-wide.
“We recommend that voters take advantage of less demand on Sundays and mid-week before Election Day to avoid lines and receive extra assistance if wanted,” Fresno County Clerk James Kus said.
Six additional in-person voting centers will be open in Fresno County on April 5 only — the final day to cast ballots. Election Day hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
In Tulare County, in-person locations will be open on April 5 only. The difference? Fresno County adopted Voter’s Choice Act policies that allow for early-access centers. Tulare County did not.
Residents of the 22nd Congressional District can register to vote and receive a ballot through April 5. A list of voting centers and drop boxes in Tulare County can be found here.
Who is Running in Special Congressional Election
Six candidates are running to complete the remainder of Nunes’ term, which ends in January, 2023.
The Republican candidates are Connie Conway, a former Assembly Minority Leader from Tulare; Elizabeth Heng, a web entrepreneur from Fresno; Michael Maher, a small business owner from Kingsburg; and Matt Stoll, also a small business owner, from Visalia.
Democrats in the race are Eric Garcia, a Marine veteran from Clovis; and Lourin Hubbard, a water agency administrator from Fresno.
Nunes left to run former President Donald Trump’s media company, Truth Media & Technology Group.
The election will be contested under boundaries in place prior to the most recent redistricting. If no candidate receives a majority on April 5, the top-two vote-getters advance to a June 7 runoff.
Mathys Suing to be a Trump Republican
Former Fresno city councilmember Chris Mathys, running for Congress against Hanford Republican Rep. David Valadao, wants voters to know he is a true conservative. He is suing for the right to be identified on the ballot as a “Trump Conservative/Businessman.”
Secretary of State Shirley Weber sent Mathys’ campaign a letter on Feb. 28, rejecting his identification wishes. Weber cites California law that a candidate gets three words, and those words must “(constitute) a profession, vocation, and occupation … The term ‘Conservative’ is deemed a status, which is an inappropriate ballot designation.”
Weber even challenged Mathys’ use of the term “businessman,” saying there was no support of such fact in his submitted paperwork.
Mathys, a Republican now living in Firebaugh, is suing Weber in Sacramento County Superior Court. In his legal complaint, Mathys is arguing among other things, this is a First Amendment issue.
“In the state of California it is my right to self-identify as well as my right to choose a ballot designation that aligns with my principals without discrimination,” Mathys said.
The case will be heard Friday morning. You can read the complaint here.
Who is Running in CD 22
Mathys is challenging Valadao in the newly re-drawn CD 22 (not to be confused with the current CD 22 with the April 5 special election).
Others running in that race — which covers parts of Kings, Tulare and Kern counties — include: Elvin Valenzuela, NPP-Visalia; Adam Holt, Libertarian-Tulare; William Cahill, R-Visalia; Kings County Board of Education member Adam Medeiros, R-Hanford; and Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield.
The primary election is June 7. The Secretary of State will release the official candidate list by March 31.