Secretary of State files appeal to overturn ruling allowing Asm. Vince Fong’s congressional run

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — California’s Secretary of State has filed an appeal to a December court ruling allowing Bakersfield Assemblymember Vince Fong to run for Congress.

The office is asking for that ruling to be overturned, and quickly.

The appeal stems from a decision in December where a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled Fong could be on the ballot despite already being on the ballot as a candidate for reelection to the 32nd Assembly District.

Secretary of State Shirley Weber has maintained that for 110 years California election law has barred a candidate from running for more than one office in the same election. The appeal states the Sacramento Superior Court judge erred in letting Fong quote “be the first candidate in modern California history to run for two offices at the same time.”

The Secretary of State’s office filed her long-anticipated appeal with California’s Third Appellate District requesting the court throw out the Sacramento Superior Court ruling allowing multiple candidacies in the same election.

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The state is asking the appeals ruling be made by April 12, 2024 — the last day for the Secretary of State to certify results of the March 5 primary.

Otherwise, they say the state will have no choice but to proceed with the prior ruling, which means counting the votes for Fong for Congress and including him in the November general election — if he advances as one of top two vote getters.

Vince Fong’s campaign issued a statement, repeating its message saying the Secretary of State is taking voters’ “right to choose the candidate of their choice” to replace former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

Read Fong’s statement below:

“The Secretary of State’s appeal is a last-ditch attempt by a liberal Sacramento politician to strip Central Valley voters of their right to choose the candidate of their choice in this election. This is a dangerous interference in our election process and is clearly intended to disenfranchise Central Valley voters. We are confident that the appeals court will side with voters and reject this clearly partisan ploy.”

Assemblymember Vince Fong

Though his name is on the ballot twice, Fong has maintained and maintains he is running only for Congress.

Wednesday morning, Fong’s endorsement announcement for Bakersfield Ward 3 Councilmember Ken Weir was released.

In it, Fong says he urges voters to support Weir, who will be a write-in candidate for Fong’s current 32nd Assembly District seat.

Fong is unopposed in that race, so challengers will be write-in candidates.

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