A prominent Fresno businessman and a former Navy combat pilot have pulled papers to run for the congressional seat being vacated by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
And, in the afternoon, Tulare County Mike Boudreaux formally filed to run.
“We deserve experienced, conservative leadership in Congress with a record of accomplishment. I have spent my entire career in law enforcement, committed to keeping my community safe,” Boudreaux said in a news release.
Boudreaux, a 56-year old Republican from Springville, criticized the Biden Administration’s “open door” border policy. He also said he “will fight against Washington’s reckless tax-and-spend culture.”
The Tulare County sheriff since 2013, Boudreaux would next be up for election for the position in 2028.
The deadline file is today (Dec. 13) at 5 p.m.
Boudreaux announced he filed his papers to run.
Casino Magnate Kirkland Pulls Papers
Kyle Kirkland, president and general manager of Club One Casino in Fresno, recently re-registered as a Republican after “taking a little break from the party.” Kirkland, 61, is often involved with local politics regarding his casino, and most recently, spoke at the Fresno City Council regarding operations at the city’s animal shelter.
This is Kirkland’s first run for public office.
“I feel like I’m at a point in my career where there’s something that I’m capable of doing,” Kirkland said. “I’m pretty community-minded. I give a lot back to the community. I look at this race as that. I think I can make a difference.”
Navy combat pilot veteran and former congressional candidate Matthew Stoll also filed to run.
Stoll, a 46-year-old Republican from Visalia, ran in the 2022 special election to replace Devin Nunes, R-Tulare. He placed third in a field of six.
He now runs a landscaping business.
The top two candidates in the March 5 primary will advance to the November general election, regardless of party.
The 20th Congressional District covers Kern, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings counties. Most of the voters, 51% are in Kern County. The district heavily leans Republican at 46%; Democrats are 27% and no party preference at 18%.
Secretary of State ‘Reviewing the Issue’ of Fong’s Candidacy
Meanwhile, the office of Secretary of State Shirley Weber addressed the legality of Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, running for Congress.
“Because of the unusual circumstances, we are carefully reviewing the issue. We’ll provide clarifying information as soon as possible,” spokesperson Joe Kocurek said.
Fong, a four-term Assemblyman, filed to run for re-election and qualified for the ballot on Nov. 29. He also filed Monday to run for Congress, and has received McCarthy’s endorsement.
State law does not allow a candidate to be removed from the ballot once qualification takes place. And, the law does not allow one candidate to run for two different offices during the same election.
The “lack of clarity” on Fong’s candidacy was one of the motivating factors for Kirkland to run.
“There is a certain risk there for the for the community and the district. And, you know, I feel like I’m qualified to stand in there,” Kirkland said.
McCarthy said he would resign by the end of the month. However, the existence of an actual dated resignation letter is unclear. McCarthy would transmit the letter to Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana. Neither party has responded to GV Wire’s request to see the letter.
Another Candidate Makes a Legal Challenge
On Wednesday morning, congressional candidate David Giglio, R-Madera, said he would challenge the legality of Fong running for the House seat.
“While the Lord might forgive Mr. Fong for going back on his word, the laws of the State of California make it clear that what he is attempting to do is illegal,” Giglio said in a news release.
Fong initially said he would not run for Congress last week, before changing his mind on Monday.