Assemblyman from California Cleared to Run for McCarthy’s Seat, Judge Rules

California Assemblyman Vince Fong has been given the green light to run for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s seat in Congress, as ruled by Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang. This ruling sets the stage for Fong to campaign for the seat representing California’s 20th congressional district, as well as for re-election to his current position in the California State Assembly.

This decision comes after a statute argued by California Secretary of State Shirley Weber was deemed “inapplicable” to Fong, as it “cannot be used as a reason to preclude him” from running for Congress. Judge Chang acknowledged that this may cause confusion among voters and potentially disenfranchise them if Fong is elected to both offices but does not retain one. She also noted that it defies common sense for a candidate to run for two offices simultaneously.

Fong welcomed the ruling, stating that it is a victory for the voters of the 20th Congressional District. He expressed gratitude to Judge Chang for upholding the integrity of the elections and standing with Central Valley voters against what he described as an overreaching Sacramento politician.

The legal battle began when Fong filed to run for re-election to his State Assembly seat, assuming that state Sen. Shannon Grove would run to succeed Mr. McCarthy. However, when Grove decided against running, Fong was left in a predicament as he had already missed the deadline to drop his re-election campaign. This prompted Fong to take legal action after Secretary of State Weber announced that he would not be on the ballot in the special election to finish Mr. McCarthy’s term.

Under state law, California Governor Gavin Newsom must schedule the special election to fill McCarthy’s seat by January 14, with the election to take place in April or May. According to the law, the special election must be held between 126 and 140 days after December 31.

McCarthy, who has endorsed Fong, will be leaving Congress at the end of the year after a tumultuous year that saw his speakership come to an end after nine months. He has been in Congress since 2007 and previously served in the California State Assembly, where he was the minority leader.

Aside from Fong, other candidates in the special election for McCarthy’s seat include Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, businessman David Giglio, casino owner Kyle Kirkland, and businessman Matt Stoll, who has previously run unsuccessfully for Congress.

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