Vince Fong is headed to Washington. What’s that mean for his Assembly seat?

While Vince Fong resigned from the Assembly, he will still appear on the November ballot for his old seat, potentially leaving voters without a representative in Sacramento for several months.

Residents in the 32nd Assembly District will likely be without a representative in the California Assembly for at least several months. 

That’s because Vince Fong resigned from his seat last week after winning the special election to replace former Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the 20th Congressional District. 


The backstory: Fong sued California Secretary of State Shirley Weber last year after she removed him from the Congressional ballot since he had already filed to run for the Assembly. 

  • Despite argument from Weber that voters would be disenfranchised with Fong running for two offices at the same time, Fong won in court. 
  • Fong won the primary election to advance to the general election in November with Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. He also beat out Boudreaux in the special election last week to serve out the remainder of McCarthy’s term this year. 

The big picture: California will not hold a special election to replace Fong in the 32nd district. 

  • State elections code states that special elections will not be held when a vacancy occurs in a legislative office in the final year of the term in office. 
  • That means the earliest voters can choose their next Assemblymember in the 32nd district is November. 

What we’re watching: To complicate matters further, Fong is also on the ballot for Assembly in November after winning the March primary. 

  • Bakersfield City Councilman Ken Weir, a fellow Republican, will also appear on the ballot for AD-32 after taking second place in the primary with a write-in campaign. 
  • Weir could simplify the issue by winning the November election over Fong, given that Fong has resigned his seat to focus on Congress. 
  • But if voters still support Fong over Weir in November and Fong chooses to not take the seat, the state would then call a special election, which would presumably take additional months. 
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