Vince Fong Elected To Fill Former Speaker McCarthy’s Seat

California state assemblymember Vince Fong has won the special election to carry out the rest of former Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) term after the former speaker stepped down from office at the end of last year.

Fong defeated Tulare Sheriff Mike Boudreaux in the head-to-head contest with the state lawmaker garnering 60.5% of the vote with 83% ballots counted. The Associated Press called the race at 11:18 p.m EST.

The victory allows Fong to represent California’s 20th Congressional District for the remainder of this Congress, and it gives him an advantage to win the general election in November for a full term.

Fong’s win comes as a victory for Speaker Mike Johnson’s predecessor McCarthy, who was ousted last October and retired from Congress just three months later. Fong, once a staffer under McCarthy, ran as a candidate with similar values as his onetime boss, upholding the Republican establishment.

McCarthy played a substantial role in Fong’s campaign by appearing at fundraising events and helping to secure a coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump. A political action committee tied to the former speaker has also poured $450,000 into a pro-Fong super PAC to help boost his candidacy and target Boudreaux in the March primaries.

His win will bring the Republican majority to 218-213, giving the party a bit more breathing room by increasing its current one-vote majority to two. That is sure to give Johnson (R-LA) a sense of relief as he navigates a historically thin majority paired with a group of hard-line conservatives who are unafraid to buck GOP leadership to get what they want.

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