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Fresno Assembly Race Tightens. All-GOP Runoff for McCarthy's Old Seat?
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 1 month ago on
March 11, 2024

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As of Monday afternoon, David Tangipa has a 100-vote lead to qualify for the November runoff.

Kern County update could sway a runoff spot for McCarthy’s old seat.

Fong has Assembly competition in November against a write-in candidate.


Six days after the March 5 election, two prominent Central Valley races remain up in the air.

David Tangipa, R-Clovis, saw his second-place lead for Assembly District 8 shrink to 100 votes over Caleb Helsel, D-Clovis, as of Monday afternoon.

Former Congressmember George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, is the leader with 37%. Tangipa is next at 30.2%, then Helsel at 30.0%. Michael Matheson finished fourth in the four-person race with 3%.

In California’s “jungle primary” system of elections, the top two vote earners advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Fresno County, where 62% of the District 8 voters are registered, reports an estimated 40,500 votes countywide yet to be counted. However, not all of those votes will be in the Assembly district. The next update is Tuesday. Fresno is Tangipa’s strongest county of the seven in the sprawling district.

Helsel is strongest in Tuolumne County, the second-biggest in the district with 11% of the registered voters. More than 18,000 votes remain countywide, with the next Tuolumne update on Friday, March 15.

Last Friday’s updates had Tangipa up by more than 700 votes. Second place has flip-flopped after the initial March 5 returns.

George Radanovich (left) leads the Assembly District 8 race. David Tangipa’s (center) lead over Caleb Helsel was just 100 votes as of Monday afternoon. (GV Wire Composite)

Boudreaux Holds Steady in Congressional Race

Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, remains the overall leader in Congressional District 20 at 38% and is likely to advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

It could be an all-Republican affair if the numbers hold. Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, R-Springville, is second and has 3,100 more votes than educator Marisa Wood, D-Bakersfield.

Boudreaux has 25% of the vote, while Wood has 22%.

There are still more than 53,000 votes left to count in Kern County, with the next update on Tuesday. Wood is running stronger in that county, with a 21% to 11% edge over Boudreaux. Not all those remaining votes are for District 20 — 38% of the county’s registered voters are in the district.

Fong Will Have Assembly Competition

Although Vince Fong was the only name in the Assembly District 32 race, he will be joined by another candidate in the November election.

Four write-in candidates qualified, and Bakersfield City Councilmember Ken Weir, has a clear-cut lead. Between Kern and Tulare counties — the two counties that make up AD 32 — Weir has 4,531 votes through Monday afternoon. Retired doctor David Wood is next with 305.

Allowed to appear on both ballots because of a court decision, Fong is only campaigning for Congress. He actually endorsed Weir as a write-in for Assembly. Still, more than 33,000 voters checked off Fong’s name.

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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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