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Fong, Boudreaux Headed for May 21 Congressional 'Pre-Match'
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 weeks ago on
March 20, 2024

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Before Vince Fong and Mike Boudreaux meet in an election showdown Nov. 5, they appear to be headed for a “pre-match” on May 21.

In a special election to fill the vacant Congressional District 20 seat Tuesday, Fong — the Republican Assemblymember from Bakersfield — and Boudreaux — the Republican Tulare County Sheriff — are in the top-two spots.

As of early Wednesday morning, Fong garnered 41% of the vote, and Boudreaux had 26%. Educator Marisa Wood, D-Bakersfield, is in third at 23%. Six others also ran, none receiving more than 5%. Because no candidate received a majority, it appears that Fong and Boudreaux will head to a runoff.

“I look forward to a terrific spring campaign to restore a badly-needed Valley voice in Washington to serve and represent our communities in Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties,” Boudreaux said in a news release Wednesday.

Said Fong: “With our state and nation in crisis, I will continue to make the case that experienced leadership is needed to deliver common-sense results to Central Valley families.”

The district covers parts of Kern, Fresno, Tulare, and Kings counties.

Results Similar to March 5

In the March 5 election for the full-time CD 20 seat, Fong and Boudreaux also finished 1-2, with 42% and 24%, respectively. They advanced to the fall general election for the term that starts Jan. 3, 2025.

The winner on May 21 will be seated shortly thereafter, and serve until Jan. 3, 2025. That person will also have the advantage of being the incumbent.

Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy quit the seat early, on Dec. 31.

McCarthy not only endorsed Fong to succeed him, but he also helped raise funds through his Central Valley Values PAC — spending more than $651,000 for Fong, and against other candidates, according to Open Secrets.

Someone Will Have to Vacate

Fong and Boudreaux are serving in elected offices. One of them will likely have to vacate to serve in Washington.

The Assembly seat served by Fong is likely to remain vacant until the full-time representative is selected in November. The governor has the right to call for a special election but is not required to in the last year of the term.

If Boudreaux wins, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors has the right to select a replacement to serve until the term expires in 2029.

Fong Still Faces Legal Hurdle

While Fong will be on the May 21 ballot no matter what, he still faces a legal challenge to appear on the November ballot.

California Secretarys of State Shirley Weber is challenging Fong’s right to run for the full-term congressional seat. State law usually allows a candidate to only run for one office per election. Even though Fong filed to run for his fifth term in the Assembly, he also filed to run for Congress when McCarthy announced he would not run.

Weber tried to block Fong, but Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang sided with Fong. The state appealed the case.

A hearing is scheduled with the Third District Court of Appeal on April 4. If the court removes Fong from the ballot, it is unclear what will ultimately happen.

Either way, Fong will still appear on the November ballot running for Assembly District 32. He was the only name on the March ballot and advanced. He will be joined by Bakersfield City Councilmember Ken Weir, R-Bakersfield, who qualified as a write-in.

With Fong campaigning full-time for Congress, he endorsed Weir for the Assembly seat.

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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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