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Politics at the Ag Expo: Boudreaux Gets Big Endorsements, Trump Burger Is a Hit
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 months ago on
February 15, 2024

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Tulare Sheriff Mike Boudreaux touted several high-profile congressional endorsements.

Boudreaux and fellow candidate Kyle Kirkland talk farm policy.

What is the Trump Burger?

At least three contenders for a Central Valley congressional district visited the World Ag Expo in Tulare on Wednesday. One of them announced several key endorsements.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux held a news conference in the morning, touting the support of former Congresswoman Connie Conway, R-Tulare; Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood; and state Senator Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield.

Boudreaux said it was time for fresh blood in Congress with a public safety background. He also touted several other law enforcement endorsements, including former Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

“I stood with Mike side-by-side on the southern border with President Trump, when he was the president, and we told him we have to secure the border. We cannot allow the open border,” Youngblood said.

Grove also touted Boudreaux’s law and order accomplishments and more.

“We’ve worked on agriculture legislation. We’ve worked on human trafficking legislation. He’s going to represent 70% of the state’s oil industry, our east Kern basin. I think he’s a very good candidate for this job,” Grove said.

Boudreaux is one of several candidates running in the March 5 primary for the full-term seat that starts Jan. 3, 2025; and the March 19 special election to serve the remainder of the current term, vacated at the end of 2023 by former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux touted several endorsements while meeting with the media at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Boudreaux, Kirkland on Ag Issues

Boudreaux says he supports farmers, a natural given the district that covers Kern, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings counties.

“We want to be able to show that we can produce and export, sell our goods to other countries, grow our economy. We shouldn’t be limiting our farmers and our agriculture. They’re overregulated, for one. But no way should our dairy be pouring out milk by any means. We should be selling all over the world,” Boudreaux said.

Boudreaux said he supported “the ability to hold certain tariffs in certain regards with imports that come into our country.”

He also said that famers should not have to pay for water.

“If we’re able to send $1 trillion to different parts of the country, why can’t we begin focusing on our farmers? Why can’t we begin focusing on generating sustainable water sources?” Boudreaux said.

Kyle Kirkland, a Clovis Republican and owner of Club One Casino, also campaigned at the ag show. He said he was there to meet farmers and listen.

“We need to lighten up on the regulations that are stifling small farmers and family farmers. I’d like to see us easing that burden and actually connecting with the farmers, more so than just pushing down regulations upon them without making informed choices,” Kirkland said.

Kirkland also said he wants more balance in global trade.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate when other countries are … taxing us on their goods and services and then … expecting to be able to sell their services into us without that,” Kirkland said.

The campaign of Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, said he was also at the World Ag Expo on Wednesday but he wasn’t available to the media.

A Trump Burger for Lunch

The political theme extended into the lunchtime selections. Several booths offered barbecue selections, all benefiting one nonprofit or another.

The Exchange Club of Porterville offered a unique selection of hamburgers, including the “Trump Burger.” For $20.24, you get two patties, two pieces of cheese, two slices of bacon, and a quarter-pound of tri-tip.

“That burger trumps it all. And we thought, It’s a Trump burger, the greatest burger ever,” said Peter Lara of the Exchange Club.

Other offerings included the “President Joe Biden Burger — Selling out America Burger” made “exclusively from imported ingredients”; the “Hunter Biden Burger” with “legal and non-legal diverse flavors”; and the “Woke Burger,” with a “weird meat like substance.”

Lara is not worried about political offense.

“It’s satire. It’s something that we’re having a good time with. People have a good time. I’ve got friends on the right, I got friends on the left, and all of them take it for what it is. And the bottom line is we’re helping raise money to help our community,” Lara said.

Funds help buy school supplies and clothes.

The Exchange Club of Porterville burger menu board at the World Ag Expo. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Sundale Still Draws the Crowd

It wouldn’t be the World Ag Expo without the steak sandwiches sold at the Sundale School stand. Even at 10 a.m., the lines formed. The money helps support programs at the Tulare school.

The entire school pitches in — teachers, students volunteers — as Sundale has the week off for the farm show. For $15, the school offers a half-pound of Harris Ranch beef in a hoagie roll, with optional toppings such as grilled onions, jalapenos and salsa.

Why Grove is Not Running

When McCarthy declared he was not running on Dec. 6, Grove’s name immediately popped up as a potential replacement. Her state Senate district is similar to Congressional District 20. However, she told GV Wire by 10 o’clock that morning she would not run.

“My husband and I prayed about it. We thoughtfully considered it. We talked to our family about it, and it’s just not something that … I’m almost 60. I’ve got 11 grandchildren, a business … I felt like there were a lot of unfinished things going on in the Senate that I needed to finish. I’m still the senator for this area till 2026, and, I felt like I needed work to be finished here,” Grove said.

She still plans to run for the state Board of Equalization in 2026.

State Senator Shannon Grove endorsed Mike Boudreaux for Congress. (GV Wire/David Taub)

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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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