Trump Endorses McCarthy’s Pick for Vacant CA Congressional Seat

By Jerry McConway, updated on February 22, 2024

When Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) resigned his seat, there was considerable speculation about who would take his spot.

That speculation ended when McCarthy endorsed Vince Fong, a California Assembly member and former aid to McCarthy.

Talking Points…
- McCarthy resignation
- Trump backs McCarthy's guy
- Analysis

McCarthy Leaves Vacant Seat for Special Election

When McCarthy resigned, he did so at a time that would require a special election to be held. Some party members were upset that he left in the middle of his term, but McCarthy explained this was the better option to ensure there would be a special election for his seat.

He immediately endorsed Fong for the seat, but Fong was already registered for the assemblyman's election, and the California Secretary of State tried to disqualify him from the seat. Fong litigated the issue, and the judge ruled in his favor, all but guaranteeing him the win since he had McCarthy's backing.

Trump Backs McCarthy's Guy

Enter Donald Trump into the race, where we have a full field, including some MAGA candidates who are hoping to get Donald Trump's endorsement. The most notable of these is Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, who has been openly courting the endorsement of Trump and former Trump officials. Trump, however, has brushed them off, deciding to go with McCarthy's guy instead.

In endorsing Fong, Trump posted:

"I am proud to join California's Republican Congressional Delegation, and give Vince Fong my Complete and Total Endorsement!

"Vince was one of only 6 Republicans in the State Assembly to stand with me, and reject the Second Impeachment Hoax. In Congress, Vince will work with me to Grow the Economy, Lower your Taxes, Cut Burdensome Regulations, Champion American Energy, and Protect and Defend the Second Amendment, which is under siege by the Radical Left."

However, Trump's former acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, and ex-chief deputy, Kash Patel, are going outside the establishment, having already endorsed Boudreaux for the seat. Grenell endorsed him last month, stating:

"Sheriff Mike Boudreaux is an America First patriot who has proven he is a principled fighter for freedom. California needs leaders with courage to stand up to Washington bureaucrats. His record proves he is the right choice for the Valley."

Patel added:

"Sheriff Boudreaux is the kind of leader we need in Congress, one with the courage to stand up and fight, not back down, and put American first."

Analysis

This is a really interesting pick for Trump because Fong is definitely considered an establishment politician, which Trump says he does not support, but then he makes this endorsement. This is probably more about his relationship with McCarthy, but McCarthy is also deemed to be establishment. This will be a lot for Trump supporters to digest, especially since his former staff members have tagged Boudreaux as the MAGA candidate in this race.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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