After Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) resigned his seat, he immediately endorsed California Assemblyman Vince Fong in the upcoming special election.
The problem was that Fong was disqualified by the Democrat Sec. of State, Shirley Weber because he had already filed to run as an assemblyman again.
When McCarthy resigned, it caught most people by surprise, including myself. I thought for sure McCarthy would say he would not run for re-election, but the resignation was a huge surprise. However, once he explained why he resigned when he did, which was to ensure a special election would be held for the seat, it made more sense, especially because he is expected to help Trump’s campaign headed into the 2024 election cycle.
After he resigned his seat, McCarthy immediately endorsed Fong to take his place, 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.”
Initially, when Fong announced that he was going to run for that seat, the Secretary of State disqualified him due to California law stipulating a candidate can only appear for one position on a ballot, and since Fong had already registered for the assemblyman position, he would not be permitted to register for the House seat. Fong noted at the time that he would litigate the decision.
On Thursday, the decision to bar Fong from the seat was overruled by Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang, who called Weber’s interpretation of the law “creative,” adding that it did not apply to partisan primary races. Fong immediately celebrated the ruling, stating:
“Today’s ruling is a victory for the voters of the 20th Congressional District, who will now have the opportunity to select the candidate of their choice in the March 5th election.
“I am grateful that Judge Chang upheld the integrity of our elections and sided with Central Valley voters against an overreaching Sacramento politician.”
While I agree no candidate should be allowed to run for two offices, there is no reason that Fong’s candidacy could not be removed from the ballot for the assemblyman position since the House seat had opened up, and he was interested in running for that seat.
This was merely a case of an opposing party flexing their muscle. Had it been a Democrat who resigned the seat, you better believe that Weber would have interpreted the law just as Judge Chang did in her ruling.
This is a significant ruling for McCarthy, who will now have an insider in Congress where his influence can be used, especially if Trump wins the election, where I believe McCarthy will be made his Chief of Staff.