Fong captures McCarthy’s House seat for remainder of 2024

The four-term Assemblyman will fill the shoes of his former boss and long-time mentor, ex-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield).

California Assemblyman Vince Fong (R–Bakersfield) has a new destination: Washington, D.C.

Fong, the protege to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield), captured the seat by his mentor and former boss in a special election on Tuesday. Fong squared off in an all-Republican run-off with Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.


Driving the news: Fong’s Tuesday victory is the third of four elections scheduled for the 20th Congressional District.

  • A heavily-contested March 5 primary, boosted by significant outside spending by a McCarthy-backed Super PAC, managed to elevate Boudreaux over leading Democrat Marisa Wood into the November general election, a race for the upcoming term.
  • Fong and Boudreaux would also square off in a narrower field of candidates on March 19, which led to Tuesday’s run-off election.

Why it matters: The House Republican Conference’s majority is hanging by a thread due to early exits, led by McCarthy’s ouster in late 2023.

  • The 20th District is the first of three House special elections for vacant GOP seats over the next several weeks.
  • The next special election in Ohio’s 6th Congressional District will take place on June 11. On June 25, Colorado’s 4th District will hold a special election to succeed former Rep. Ken Buck.

What they’re saying: Fong celebrated the victory in a statement to media.

  • “I am filled with humility and gratitude tonight, as early results show that voters have overwhelmingly selected me to serve as their voice in Washington D.C. With the campaign over, the real work now begins. In Congress, I will remain focused on solving the tough issues facing our community— securing the border, supporting small business, bringing investment in water storage and infrastructure, unleashing our energy industry, and keeping the United States safe amidst the grave security threats facing our nation,” Fong said.
  • Boudreaux issued his own statement congratulating Fong. While the two are still set to appear on the November ballot, the Tulare County Sheriff hinted at future plans.
  • “This evening, I called Vince Fong to congratulate him on his victory. Since redistricting in 2021, voters in the 20th District have held high hopes for their representative in Congress and higher expectations for results. We are all pulling for success for our region. Throughout my 38-year career in the Sheriff’s Department, I have consistently fought for a safer, vibrant community for my neighbors in Tulare County and across the San Joaquin Valley. California faces a crime crisis unlike any other in its history. That’s why I will be stepping up the fight for a safer Valley and safer California. I look forward to providing updates on this effort in the coming weeks,” Boudreaux said in a statement.
Related Posts