Politics

McCarthy wades into open north Valley Congressional battle. Here’s who he’s backing.

In a rare move, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) is wading knee deep into the primary for an open Congressional seat in the San Joaquin Valley.

Monday, McCarthy announced his endorsement of Merced County native John Duarte for the open 13th Congressional District.

Duarte, a nursery owner from Hughson, is up against Asm. Adam Gray (D – Merced) and teacher David Giglio (R–Madera). 

“Farmer and businessman John Duarte is the best choice to represent the 13th Congressional District. John shares our Central Valley values. As a local businessman and farmer, he understands water is the lifeblood of our community. He stopped the sale of valley water to San Francisco and when government overreached, he fought for his right to farm his own land,” McCarthy said in a statement.  

“John is a proven conservative and won’t back down from a fight. In Congress, he will stop the Biden and Pelosi spending spree that is causing inflation, he will secure our border, and he will never allow the progressive to defund the police.” 

McCarthy’s endorsement comes shortly after his super PAC revealed an ad campaign of $125 million to flip Congressional seats in the fall.

The super PAC is sending $1.6 million toward the 13th District, which runs along the west side of the Central Valley and is centered on Merced and Madera. 

That announcement was paired with an additional missive from the National Republican Congressional Committee that Duarte was joining its Young Guns candidate recruitment program.

“I am grateful for the support of Leader McCarthy, who has been a champion for our Valley in Congress. I entered this race to fight for our working families and vulnerable communities that Sacramento politicians like Adam Gray have forgotten,” Duarte said in a statement. 

“For three decades, I have fought for our community as a farmer and businessman. Now we are taking our fight to Washington.”

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.