Politics

Two Republicans run in runoff to end Kevin McCarthy's term

from California most conservative congressional district just discovered his own version of “Groundhog Day” time loop. After two elections held two weeks apart, the same two candidates qualified for two subsequent elections.

Vince Fong and Mike Boudreaux, both Republicans, qualified for a second round of elections in the state's 20th Congressional District to determine who will complete the term of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who resigned from Congress last year shortly after being ousted from his leadership post.

Mr. Fong and Mr. Boudreaux had already won a chance to run in the November general election for a full two-year termstarting in January 2025. This was determined in an earlier primary election on March 5, Super Tuesday.

But in a special election on Tuesday, Mr. Fong, a state lawmaker and former aide to Mr. McCarthy who was endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump, won more than 42 percent of the vote. Mr. Boudreaux, the longtime sheriff of Tulare County, finished with about 26 percent of the vote. As the top two candidates – and neither candidate receiving 50 percent of the vote – they will face off again on May 21 to determine who will complete Mr. McCarthy's term.

Marisa Wood, a Democrat, finished third Tuesday, with about 23 percent of the vote. (Ms. Wood also finished third in the March 5 primary.) The race was not announced by the Associated Press until Friday.

Voters in the district, located in California's Central Valley, will now have two months before being asked to vote again for Mr. Fong or Mr. Boudreaux. They will then benefit from a break of more than five months before voting for either Republican in November. Whoever wins the May runoff will go into the November election with the advantage of being an incumbent, albeit a relatively new one.

Turnout in Tuesday's special election was significantly lower than March 5, with tens of thousands of voters choosing to stay home, but that did not appear to change the outcome.

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