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McCarthy, Dem Opponent Will Spar in Televised Debate Tonight



Democrat Marisa Wood, left, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are vying for the 20th District seat. (GV Wire File)
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Even though he has raised 27 times more in campaign contributions than his challenger, Rep. Kevin McCarthy has agreed to a televised debate tonight.

McCarthy, who is the House Minority Leader, is scheduled to face Democrat Marisa Wood, airing live at 7 p.m. on KSEE’s website.

The debate between the two Bakersfield residents takes place at the Bakersfield studio of sister station KGET-17 and airs live on that channel.

KSEE anchor Alexan Balekian will moderate with Ch. 17’s Jim Scott.

They are running in the 20th Congressional District. With redistricting, the boundaries stretch from Bakersfield to Clovis and parts of Fresno.

McCarthy has posted $27 million in fundraising, much of which he shares with GOP hopefuls across the nation. Wood, an educator, has raised a shade under $1 million.

If the Republicans take the House on election night, McCarthy is poised to become Speaker of the House, supplanting Nancy Pelosi.

A Season of Canceled Debates

Station officials are hoping the third time is the charm with debates. Scheduled debates for House and state Senate seats were canceled the last two weeks when a candidate pulled out at the last minute.

Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, withdrew from his debate with Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford. State Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Bakersfield, did the same last week against Porterville Republican David Shepard.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the McCarthy-Wood showdown was still on.

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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