McCarthy Hand-picked Replacement Blocked by Dem Sec. of State
Last week was former Speaker McCarthy’s (R-CA) last day in Congress.
McCarthy announced he was not running for re-election and resigning his seat effective December 31.
He also hand-picked the man he wanted to fill his seat, but Democrats appear to be ready to block that from happening.
After McCarthy left office, he immediately endorsed Assemblyman Vince Fong for the seat, stating, “There is no one that I trust more to continue the fight for common-sense and conservative values in Washington DC. I am proud to endorse my friend Vince Fong for Congress.”
As it turns out, Fong had already registered for the assemblyman election, then tried to register for the special election for Kevin McCarthy’s seat, but the Democrat Secretary of State, Shirley Weber, announced that he was not eligible because under California law, a candidate’s name cannot appear on a ballot for two different offices.
She stated, "Under state law, a candidate who has filed their declaration of candidacy is not permitted to withdraw as a candidate at that primary election.
"Mr. Fong filed his completed nomination documents for Assembly District 32 prior to the close of the December 8, 2023 filing deadline. Mr. Fong then submitted completed nomination documents for Congressional District 20 during the 5-day extension period triggered by the incumbent’s decision not to seek re-election. State law prohibits any candidate from filing nomination papers for more than one office at the same election."
Fong posted his response on X…
Voters in the 20th Congressional District have a right to choose the candidate of their choice to represent them in Congress. I will fight the Secretary of State's misguided decision and do whatever it takes to give voters in our community a real choice in this election because… pic.twitter.com/0vqx3ohP7i
— Vince Fong (@vfong) December 16, 2023
As Fong noted, he will fight this decision, but I am not sure how much luck he will have with her since the law is pretty clear on the matter.
If he loses his legal battle, this will be a pretty significant blow to McCarthy, who surely wants his guy in Congress so that he still has some influence, especially if McCarthy joins Trump’s administration if Trump wins the 2024 election.
Regardless, this will be a red seat, as McCarthy’s district is a conservative haven, so there is not too much worry about the Democrats being able to flip that seat blue.