Special election for 20th Congressional District 1 week away

The 20th Congressional District includes portions of Kern, Tulare, Kings, and Fresno Counties.

Kate Nemarich Image
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Special election for 20th Congressional District 1 week away
A Special General Election for the upcoming 20th District Congressional race is now just one week away.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Special General Election for the upcoming 20th District Congressional race is now just one week away.

Tuesday is the last day to request a vote by mail ballot by phone or through the mail for that election.

The special runoff election is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21.

Voters will deicide who will fill Kevin McCarthy's US House of Representatives term for the rest of the year.

That seat has sat empty since he stepped down from the role in December, shortly after being ousted as House Speaker.

Voters in parts of Central California are headed back to the polls, again, for the third time in two months and they're seeing some of the same names again.

In March, voters cast their ballots in the primary election for the 20th District Congressional race for the full term, starting in January 2025.

In that race, voters selected Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and Assemblyman Vince Fong, both Republicans, to face off in November's General Election.

Then, a week later, voters cast their ballot in the 20th District Congressional race special primary election to determine who would fill the remainder of Kevin McCarthy's term, which lasts through the end of the year.

Once again, voters selected Boudreaux and Fong.

Now, the two are facing off again in the special election run-off.

For the special election primary for the 20th District Congressional race, we saw about 30% voter turnout.

Because that ballot was sent out around the same time as the presidential election primary ballot election officials said it's hard to judge what voter turnout will look like in this race.

Fresno County Clerk James Kus said more than 16,000 ballots have been returned by mail or in drop boxes so far.

He said that's a solid start for a special election, but turnout is hard to predict, especially with back-to-back-to-back elections.

"As a special election, it really is a little bit of an unknown. We really can't tell until we get there," said Kus. "It may be more of a question of voter fatigue or voter awareness at this point."

Sheriff Boudreaux said you might not see many ads for his campaign, but he is still in the race and choosing to focus on meeting voters instead.

"We're coming into this pretty optimistic," said Boudreaux. "We're we're hoping for good, positive things. But quite frankly, you know, we believe we're the underdog in this race. But you know, we're pushing forward and being positive."

Fong was unavailable for an interview but sent a statement that read, in part:

"I am grateful to have won the first two rounds of this fight and feel optimistic and confident that voters in the Central Valley will once again choose tested, trusted, experienced leadership next Tuesday and in November."

If Fong were to win this election and vacate his Assembly seat, the Secretary of State says they would not hold a special election to fill that position because the vacancy happened after the end of the nomination period, and there is less than a year left in the term.

Action News asked Boudreaux if he will stay in the November race if Fong wins the special election.

He said that will be decided after next week, but that he wants to do what's best for the state, country, and Republican party.

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