Trump endorses Vince Fong for McCarthy’s former House seat

In a show of just how contested the race for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s district has become, President Trump weighed in Tuesday, offering his endorsement for Assemblyman Vince Fong.

Formerly a district director for McCarthy, his fellow Bakersfield Republican, Fong threw his hat in the ring to replace him shortly after the ousted speaker resigned in December. Fong has already racked up other key endorsements, including McCarthy’s, and appears to be the front-runner for the 20th Congressional District seat.

“In Congress, Vince will work with me to Grow the Economy, Lower your Taxes, Cut Burdensome Regulations, Champion American Energy, and Protect and Defend the Second Amendment, which is under siege by the Radical Left,” Trump said in a statement. “Now is the time to unite around Vince Fong and elect a true Republican to this seat.”

Fong is up against a slew of other candidates in one of California’s most Republican districts, encompassing portions of Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties.

One of his rivals, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, recently received the endorsements of state Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), who has long represented the district in the Legislature; and David Giglio, a self-described “America First” candidate who dropped out of the race after modeling his campaign after Trump’s.

In a statement thanking Trump, Fong said, “The Central Valley has had enough of the failures of the Biden administration. We are ready to once again have leaders in DC, like President Trump, that will fight for our interests and values.”

Fong’s run for Congress initially hit a snag when Secretary of State Shirley Weber, a Democrat, said he could not run for two offices at once; Fong was already seeking reelection to the Assembly. A judge overruled Weber, saying that although allowing Fong to run for two offices “somewhat defies common sense,” the politician had a right to try.

Voters will cast ballots twice for a representative from the state’s 20th Congressional District — first on March 5, in the primary for the two-year term beginning January 2025, and then in a special election on March 19 for the remainder of McCarthy’s term.

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