Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux announces run for Congress in 2024
FRESNO, Calif. – Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux will run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat being left vacant by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Boudreaux announced his plans Wednesday ahead of a filing deadline. In his announcement, he touted his history of facing off with Democrats in Sacramento on public safety issues, including sentencing reforms.
The three-term sheriff enters a quickly growing field of candidates vying to replace McCarthy, who announced he was retiring from Congress following a dramatic ouster as House Speaker and 17 years in the House.
Boudreaux will test his popularity as county sheriff in a district that sprawls along mostly the Sierra Nevada and the eastern edge of the San Joaquin Valley.
Republican match shaping up
District 20 is solidly Republican, but the new wave of candidates entering the race could make it a competitive race among the conservatives seeking to claim the seat.
Boudreaux will face off with others like David Giglio, who announced his campaign in October and has been a harsh critic of McCarthy and his influence over the party.
Giglio this week also said he would sue the state’s Secretary of State’s office as well as the Kern County election’s office over the filing of another candidate.
Vince Fong, a state Assembly member and former district director for McCarthy, filed to run for the seat on Monday. But questions are mounting about whether he can legally run in the federal race since he had already filed for state re-election.
McCarthy has also endorsed Fong.
The Secretary of State’s office has stated candidates can not run in two races on the same ballot, and they can’t withdraw their candidacy after the filing deadline. The state election’s office will certify eligible candidates by the end of the year.
In D.C., praise for McCarthy
Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., representatives lined up on the House floor to offer their comments about the former Speaker on his last day Thursday.
“The reality that he’s not going to be there is a huge hole for us in the Valley,” Republican David Valadao said. He added McCarthy’s departure means issues affecting central California like water, valley fever and energy, may lose support.
Republican Tom McClintock admonished the small group of conservatives who forced a vote to oust McCarthy as speaker, and quoted Shakespeare in saying “this House is turned upside down,” with McCarthy leaving.
“He had put House Republicans in a commanding position to sweep the 2024 election,” McClintock said.