Democrat John Burrows leaves race to succeed Kevin McCarthy 

The Fresno Council aide is leaving the race and encouraging Democrats to coalesce around one candidate.

One of the Democrats who had been running against Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) has dropped out of the race. 

John Burrows announced his exit because McCarthy is retiring from Congress, saying Democrats need to rally behind one candidate. 


The big picture: Burrows, a staffer for Fresno City Councilman Nelson Esparza, had entered the race early in the year. 

  • But on Wednesday, as several Republicans jumped in the race over the past few days, Burrows left the race because the dynamics have shifted with McCarthy no longer being a target. 
  • Burrows previously served as the executive director of Fearless Action PAC, which launched viral attacks on former Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare) when he was in Congress. 

What they’re saying: In a statement, Burrows called his campaign one of the greatest honors of his life. 

  • “After consultation with my campaign team, House Democratic Leadership, and Democratic pollsters and statisticians, it is apparent that multiple Democrats running in a primary election to succeed Speaker McCarthy will likely box out any Democrat from making the top 2 Runoff General Election,” Burrows said. “The Central Valley can’t afford to choose between two MAGA Republicans. Democratic values and principles must be on the ballot.” 
  • With his leave, Burrows has endorsed fellow Democrat and former candidate Marisa Wood in his stead. 
  • “The Valley has an opportunity to turn the page from decades of stagnant leadership and Marisa gives us an opportunity to do so,” Burrows said. 
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