Early challenger of McCarthy emerges in 20th District

Feb. 2—With the 2024 election still distant, Democratic candidate John Burrows made an early start to his morning Thursday.

The 28-year-old Fresno native announced his candidacy for California 20th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently held by incumbent and newly-elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

"Kevin McCarthy is out of touch with the everyday struggles of the Central Valley," Burrows said in a release on Thursday. "As a successful entrepreneur and experienced public servant, I have a deep understanding of the local economy and am committed to working with lawmakers from both parties to deliver results for the hardworking families of the Central Valley."

Burrows touted his experience in education, public relations and business. He is the current public relations director for the city of Fresno, a job he's held since October 2021. He highlighted his priorities in a grassroots campaign that emphasizes "advocating for families who have been overlooked by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy."

McCarthy's office was working on a response.

According to Navkaran Gurm, political director for California Young Democrats and a consultant for John Burrows' campaign, the timing of this announcement is critical to their success.

"With ballots arriving in only 13 months, this campaign for the people of the 20th district is right on time," Gurm said. "Starting our campaign now is a big part of how we plan to win in this district and defeat Kevin McCarthy."

California's 20th Congressional District is home to communities in Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties. Their campaign has so far received endorsements from city council members in Fresno, Visalia and Delano. They've also garnered support from Democratic Party leadership in Kern County.

McCarthy has served as a House representative in the U.S. Congress since 2007. He recently won the 2022 midterm election with 67.2 percent of the vote over challenger Marisa Wood, who received 32.8 percent, in a difference of 78,913 ballots.