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With Fong's Candidacy in Legal Limbo, Prominent Republicans Jump Into Race for McCarthy's Seat
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 months ago on
December 13, 2023

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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 Sheriff 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 to file is today (Dec. 13) at 5 p.m.

Casino Owner 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 Pulls Papers, Too

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.

 

 

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
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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