California Republicans Face Runoff To Replace Ousted Speaker McCarthy

A pair of California Republicans will square off twice this year in the heated battle to replace ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. He retired in December after being forced out of his leadership position by party members angry over too many compromises with Democrats.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and Assemblyman Vince Fong of Bakersfield will face each other in a May 21 runoff for the special election.

Then they will compete yet again in the general election on Nov. 5 to earn a full term in Congress. Fong seemingly has the upper hand in the conservative district as the choice of former President Donald Trump and the retired McCarthy.

Fong released a statement Wednesday morning thanking the voters for propelling his candidacy forward. He credited his potential constituents for choosing “experienced, common sense leadership to represent the Central Valley in Washington, D.C.

Boudreaux released his own statement Wednesday, declaring, “I am honored to continue making the case for a safer Valley in Congress rooted in real experience.”

It has been a grueling road for both. They were the leading vote-getters in the Super Tuesday general election primary on March 5 and the March 19 special election primary.

The good news for Republicans is that the seat was never in danger of falling to Democrats, meaning the slim House majority was not threatened. The district is a staunchly conservative enclave in deep blue California.

Boudreaux is running on the strength of decades in law enforcement. He pledged to focus on the porous southern border with Mexico that sees hundreds of thousands of illegals crossing into the nation every year.

In the March 19 primary it was Fong who emerged as the clear winner. With 99% of the vote tallied, he secured 42.3% of the total to Boudreaux’s 25.8%.

The runoff is necessary due to Bakersfield teacher and Democrat Marisa Wood taking 22.6%.

The focus on the next race, especially by the national media, will be on Trump’s sway on the district through his endorsement of Fong. The mainstream media is fixated on making every Republican race a referendum on the 45th president’s popularity.