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Speaker Johnson Says 'Road to Growing' GOP Majority Runs Through the Valley
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 3 months ago on
April 4, 2024

Speaker Mike Johnson addresses a Fresno crowd at a fundraiser hosted by Richard F. and Karen Spencer, Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Special to GV Wire)

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Speaker Mike Johnson addressed a crowd at a Fresno fundraiser on Thursday morning.

“The road to growing the majority runs through California and the Central Valley.” — House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana

Johnson, R-Louisiana, who succeeded Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield as Speaker, met Republican donors at Harris Construction near the airport — blocks away from McCarthy’s former district. After a revolt by rogue Republicans, McCarthy was ousted as Speaker last October. He quit Congress altogether on Dec. 31.

The event — hosted by husband-wife team Richard F. Spencer and Karen Spencer — raised funds for the Grow the Majority committee. Funds will support Republicans running for Congress, including incumbents John Duarte, R-Modesto, and David Valadao, R-Hanford.

“The road to growing the majority runs through California and the Central Valley,” Johnson told GV Wire. “It was an honor to meet with local leaders and (representatives) John Duarte and David Valadao in Fresno as we work on solutions to fix our economy, secure our border, keep our communities safe, protect our natural resources, and support our farmers.”

Duarte and Valadao are expected to be in tight races against former Assemblymembers Adam Gray, D-Merced, and Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, respectively.

The Fresno event was closed to media.

Speaker Mike Johnson (at podium) speaks to a crowd of Republican doors at Harris Construction in Fresno, Thursday, April 4, 2024. (Special to GV Wire)

Fresno One of Several Johnson Stops

Tickets, according to the event flyer, were $1,000 to get in the door, and up to $6,600 — which included a special meet and greet with Johnson. Because of the way Grow the Majority is set up, The Hill reports, a single donor can give a maximum contribution of $850,600.

The Fresno stop was one of several Johnson in California the past few days. His campaign office said he met with other congressional hopefuls — Assemblymember Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, in Bakersfield, and Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln, R-Stockton.

Fong faces fellow Republican, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, R-Springville, on May 21 to fill the vacancy created by McCarthy’s exit. The same two are on the Nov. 5 ballot for the full-term seat.

(Facebook/William Bourdeau)

Group Protests With Sign on Truck

While Johnson visited Fresno, a group called Valley Families Unite drove around town with a sign on a truck, urging Jonson and Duarte to support the Inflation Reduction Act.

“It’s time we let them know that enough is enough. We need our elected officials to spend less time at high end fundraisers, and more time focused on supporting Californians who are struggling with the exhorted costs of living. Congressman Duarte, we urge you to side with working Californians, instead of hobnobbing with the ultra wealthy,”  the group’s executive director Irene Kao said.

A truck with a sign had a message for Speaker Mike Johnson and Congressmember John Duarte. (Valle Families Unite)

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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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