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Fresno Dem Makes Strategic Move as Race for McCarthy’s Seat Firms Up

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Fresno Democrat John Burrows, right, has dropped out of a crowded race for Rep. Kevin McCarthy's vacated seat. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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A Fresno Democrat announced he has dropped out of the race to succeed vacating Rep. Kevin McCarthy to represent the Central Valley in Washington.

John Burrows, a staffer for Fresno City Councilman Nelson Esparza, decided not to run after all. Of all those vying for the former House Speaker’s seat, Burrows had raised the most money — $547,000 through Sept. 30.

Burrows said with McCarthy no longer running, “the dynamics of this race have shifted.”

“It is apparent multiple Democrats running in a primary … will likely box out any Democrat from making the top 2 Runoff General Election. The Central Valley can’t afford to chose between two MAGA Republicans,” Burrows said in a news release.

Burrows said he is endorsing Bakersfield educator Marisa Wood in the Congressional District 20 race.

In the final days of the nomination period, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux returned his paperwork. So did Casino One owner Kyle Kirkland of Fresno, and former candidate and veteran Matthew Stoll. All are Republicans.

There is still the question of Assemblyman Vince Fong’s eligibility. Fong turned in his paperwork to stand for re-election before changing his mind and saying he wanted to campaign for McCarhty’s seat in the heavily Republican district. State election law does not allow a withdrawal after qualification, and only allows a candidate to run for one office per election.

The Secretary of State’s office is looking into the issue but hasn’t ruled on Fong’s bid to run for Congress.

The Secretary of State has a Dec. 28 deadline to certify candidates.

Unofficial List of CA-20 Candidates

The unofficial candidate list as of Wednesday’s filing deadline included:

    • Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, R-Springville
    • Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield
    • Club One Casino owner Kyle Kirkland, R-Fresno
    • Businessman and former Navy pilot Matthew Stoll, R-Visalia
    • Businessman David Giglio, R-Madera
    • Educator and 2022 candidate Marisa Wood, D-Bakersfield
    • Sarah Jacqueline Goldberg, D-Frazier Park
    • Andy Morales, D-Fresno
    • Mohammad Arif, Peace and Freedom-Bakersfield
    • Ben Dewell, No party preference-Tehachapi
    • Sathya J. Knechler, unknown

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