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Kevin McCarthy Draws Another Challenger. This One Is a MAGA Republican.



Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, left, draws another challenger in Madera Republican businessman David Giglio. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Although David Giglio is a Republican, he has been critical of Congressman (formerly Speaker) Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. Giglio, a Madera businessman, has taken McCarthy to task constantly on X, formerly Twitter.

Now Giglio plans to do something about it. He is running against McCarthy.

“Kevin McCarthy has failed the American people,” Giglio said in a news release announcing his candidacy on Monday. “After years of being sold out to special interests, the people of the Central Valley deserve an America First Republican fighting for them in Washington and working alongside President Donald Trump to WAGE WAR against the corrupt uniparty!”

Giglio called the eight Republicans who forced McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker “courageous.”

This is Giglio’s second run for Congress. he finished fourth in a five-person primary for Congressional District 13 in the June 2022 primary, with 15% of the vote. John Duarte, R-Modesto, was the eventual winner.

(GV Wire/Paul Marshall)

Who Else is Running

Several candidates are lining up to run against McCarthy — who defeated Bakersfield Democrat Marisa Wood in the November 2022 general election, 67%-33%.

Wood announced she is running again. Her latest FEC filing shows $11,000 cash on hand.

McCarthy is still the odds-on favorite. His latest fundraising totals — filed before he was ousted as Speaker — show $4.8 million raised in the third quarter of 2023, and he has $10.6 million cash on hand.

John Burrows, a Fresno Democrat who works as a staffer for Fresno City Councilman Nelson Esparza (a previous version of this story said he worked for Fresno City Council President Tyler Maxwell), has raised the most money of any challenger. He reported raising $281,000 for the quarter, with $98,000 cash on hand.

Clovis Democrat Andy Morales is the only other candidate to post fundraising totals, netting $48,000 in the quarter, with $16,200 cash on hand.

Giglio has not posted 2024 totals, but raised $737,000 in 2022, which included a $150,000 contribution to himself and another $180,000 self-loan.

Ben Dewell, who also ran in the 2022 primary against McCarthy, and Matthew Piatt round out the field.

Piatt is a business consultant living in Beaverton, Oregon. The Constitution requires a representative live in the state — not necessarily the district — they represent, but only by the time they take the Oath of Office, in this case Jan. 3, 2025.

Announced candidates for CD 20: top, from left to right: Kevin McCarthy, Marisa Wood, Ben Dewell, Andy Morales; bottom: Matthew Piatt, David Giglio, John Burrows. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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