Trump-backed candidate Fong wins California special election for McCarthy's former House seat

The bid to replace McCarthy was between California Assemblyman Vince Fong, who used to work for the former speaker, and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. 

Published: May 21, 2024 11:42pm

Updated: May 22, 2024 7:42am

House Republicans secured another member on Tuesday, after California Assemblyman Vince Fong won a special election to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, bringing their total numbers to 218 members compared to Democrats' 213.

McCarthy left the House last December, after he was forced out of the speakership in a vote that saw all Democrats oppose him and a handful of Republicans, led by Florida GOP firebrand Rep. Matt Gaetz. The bid to replace McCarthy was between Fong, who used to work for the former speaker, and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. 

Fong was the frontrunner in the race, after he secured support from McCarthy and former President Donald Trump. But Fong's battle was hard fought, after a legal dispute had temporarily disqualified him from running. Fong had previously announced that he was running for reelection in the state Assembly, and under California law, he could not run for both offices. But a judge in December ruled that his name could appear on the ballot for both races, according to Politico.

“Now is the time to unite around Vince Fong and elect a true Republican to this seat,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social in February.

Boudreaux, who received the most amount of votes in the March primary, will also face Fong in November for the full term general election. Tuesday's race was for the remainder of McCarthy's term.

Fong will now represent district 20 in the House of Representatives, which includes parts of Bakersfield, and Fresno.

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