Newsom Announces Dates For Special Election To Replace McCarthy
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., greets staffers and members while conducting a photo-op in the U.S. Capitol's Rayburn Room on Thursday, December 14, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday the dates for a special election for the person who will serve the remainder of former Rep. Kevin McCarthy‘s term (R-CA) following his retirement.

The primary will be held on March 19, Newsom declared in a proclamation and accompanying statement, and a special election is scheduled for May 21 if it is needed.

California has primary system in which candidates regardless of party compete in races for certain offices, including those in Congress. In special elections, a candidate can win in the primary outright with more than 50% of the vote. If no one reaches the threshold, a run-off will follow — the May date in this case.

The announcement by Newsom solidifies a schedule in which the special election primary will be separated from California’s 2024 primary, which is set for March 5.

McCarthy, who represented the Central Valley-area 20th Congressional District, left the House at the end of 2023 roughly halfway into his two-year term a couple months after he lost the speakership in a no-confidence vote. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) eventually got elected by his peers to become the new speaker.

“I will continue to recruit our country’s best and brightest to run for elected office,” McCarthy said in announcing his ouster in early December. “The Republican Party is expanding every day, and I am committed to lending my experience to support the next generation of leaders.”

A number of GOP candidates are vying to represent the Republican-leaning district, including Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux and David Giglio, a businessman who is running under an “America First” banner. McCarthy has endorsed Assemblymember Vince Fong.

In the intervening months, the GOP-led House will contend with an ever-shrinking Republican majority that was slim from the beginning. The thin margin is exacerbated in the short term by Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) temporarily being away from Washington to undergo a stem cell transplant as he battles blood cancer.

Lawmakers voted to expel now-former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) in December, and a special election for his seat is set for mid-February. Another member, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), is expected to leave on January 21 to become president of Youngstown State University.

Congress is currently grappling with a number of pressing issues, including working out a deal on spending to avert a government shutdown, a border security deal tied to aid for U.S. allies, and impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Newsom Announces Dates For Special Election To Replace McCarthy