Ahead of CD-20 special election, Republican candidate Mike Boudreaux makes final pitch to voters

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — On May 21, voters in California’s 20th Congressional District, formerly represented by Kevin McCarthy, can participate in a special election.

This special election is to fill the remainder of McCarthy’s term, which he left early.

The election is a runoff. Back in March, we had the primary special election with nine candidates, but because no one got 50% or more of the votes, we’re moving onto this runoff with the top two vote getters Republicans Mike Boudreaux and Vince Fong.

Trump endorses Vince Fong in CD-20 race

“To the voters, you’re going to have to ask yourself, are you happy with the way things have been? Are you happy with the lawlessness that’s been taking place in California and across this country? And if your answer is yes, then the vote would go to the opponent, who’s been in the legislature in California,” said candidate Mike Boudreaux.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux is up against fellow Republican Assemblyman Vince Fong.

In an interview with 17 News on Thursday during a campaign event at the Rock Harbor Church in Bakersfield, Boudreaux said he has a solid base in Tulare and Kings counties but admitted Fong has a grip on Kern, which makes up more than half the district.

“Kern County is really one I’ve been looking at pretty regularly, visiting and being invited to pretty regularly. Clovis as well,” Boudreaux said.

CD-20 includes parts of Kern, Kings, Fresno and Tulare counties.

Boudreaux won Kings and Tulare in both the presidential and special election primaries.

Fong won Fresno and Kern.

Boudreaux also noted ahead of the special election runoff, he’s reached out to Kern Democrats too, like former CD-20 candidate Marisa Wood.

“I’ve reached out to people like Marisa Wood who was in this race once before,” he said. “What are the issues facing you and your party? And I work very well with both sides of the aisle. As sheriff I don’t get to pick between Republican and Democrat.”

RELATED: Surprising Mike Boudreaux endorsements likely to shake up the Republican field in CD-20 race

Boudreaux said as sheriff, he has dealt directly with border crossings, crime and public safety.

“They want to be safe in their schools, their parks, their churches, but they also want to be able to afford food and gasoline,” Boudreaux began. “Everybody wants a safe community, and they want a good strong economy. So, those issues are priorities for me.”

He also touched on agriculture and oil, noting such concerns are shared throughout the vast CD-20 district.

“The oil industry is a thriving part of America that should be the most prosperous county, really in the nation, and they’re overregulated,” Boudreaux added.

In name ID and fundraising, Boudreaux trails.

According to Federal Election Commission filings, the Tulare candidate has raised about $423,000 as of early May. Vince Fong has raised nearly $1.5 million.

On ads, Boudreaux has spent at least $105,000, largely on radio and digital platforms.

Fong has spent at least $241,000.

“We’re definitely, I believe, the underdog,” Boudreaux said. “It’s not a bad thing to be the underdog,” he added, saying it encourages him to work harder.

Attack ads caused tension between the candidates when an outside group supporting Fong spent over $100,000 on ads opposing Boudreaux.

Thanks for signing up!

Watch for us in your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Daily News

The Fong camp also launched a negative ad of its own.

Endorsements also upped competition, as local Republican leaders Senator Shannon Grove and Sheriff Donny Youngblood endorsed Boudreaux over Fong.

As for how the results of the special election will affect his November run for the full two-year congressional term, Boudreaux isn’t ruling anything out.

Boudreaux stated he will continue on to the November general election, no matter the outcome of May 21, but added: “I have to do what’s best for America, what’s best for this district, and quite frankly, what’s best for the party moving forward. We’ll take a look at what that may look like going forward.”

“At the end of the day, I don’t think the voters are going to be disappointed with either candidate,” Boudreaux explained. “It’s just going to be two uniquely different candidates.”

“Really, do you want a law and order, hard grit, hard fought candidate,” he added, “or do you want someone who’s been in politics most of their career?”

On Monday, we’ll have more on Boudreaux’s opponent, Vince Fong.

Polls open at 7 a.m. May 21.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KGET 17.