Two Republicans advance to a second round to end Kevin McCarthy’s term

Photo of author


California most conservative congressional district you just experienced your own version of “Groundhog Day” time loop. After two elections, held two weeks apart, the same two candidates have advanced to two subsequent elections.

Vince Fong and Mike Boudreaux, both Republicans, have qualified for a second electoral round in the state’s 20th Congressional District to determine who will finish the term of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who resigned from Congress last year shortly after being removed from his leadership post.

Both Mr. Fong and Mr. Boudreaux had already won the opportunity to compete in the November general election for a full two-year termstarting in January 2025. That was determined in an earlier primary election on March 5, Super Tuesday.

But in a special election on Tuesday, Fong, a state lawmaker and former McCarthy aide who was endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump, won more than 42 percent of the vote. Boudreaux, a longtime Tulare County sheriff, finished with about 26 percent of the vote. As the top two finishers, and with neither candidate receiving 50 percent of the vote, they will compete again on May 21 to determine who completes McCarthy’s term.

Marisa Wood, a Democrat, finished third Tuesday, with about 23 percent of the vote. (Ms. Wood also finished third in the primary on March 5.) The Associated Press did not call the race until Friday.

Voters in the district, which is in California’s Central Valley, will now have two months before they are asked to vote again for Fong or Boudreaux. They will then have a break of more than five months before voting for either Republican in November. Whoever wins the second round in May will reach the November elections with the advantage of incumbency, even if it is relatively new.

Turnout was significantly lower in Tuesday’s special election than on March 5, and tens of thousands of voters chose to stay home, but that appeared to do little to change the outcome.

Leave a comment