Vince Fong Says He Won’t Run for Congressional Seat

Gun Rights

BAKERSFIELD — In response to Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s announcement that he will be resigning and not seeking re-election to represent California’s 20th Congressional District, Assemblymember Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) released the following statement Dec. 7 on his own plans for the 2024 election cycle:

Vince Fong

“Representing the residents of the Central Valley is an honor and privilege. In the past 24 hours, I have been humbled to receive an outpouring of encouragement to run for Congress. I want to thank everyone who reached out for your kind words and offers of support.

“After giving it thoughtful and prayerful consideration, my family and I have decided that now is not my time, and I will not be running for Congress in 2024.

“I believe California is worth fighting for, and I will be seeking another term in the State Assembly to bring common sense back to our state government. Our state is in crisis, and our community needs a strong and effective voice in Sacramento now more than ever to defend our way of life and our values.

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“I will continue to fight for fiscal responsibility, affordable energy, more water infrastructure, and safer neighborhoods.

“I look forward to making my case for re-election in the coming year and continuing to serve Kern and Tulare counties in our State Capitol.”

Fong is serving his fourth term representing Assembly District 32, which includes Tehachapi, Taft, Oildale, Kern River Valley, Ridgecrest, Lake Isabella, Maricopa, Taft, and portions of Bakersfield.

McCarthy made his announcement after fellow Republians removed him as House speaker. Gov. Gavin Newsom must decide whether to call a special election in 2024 to fill the remaining months of McCarthy’s current term.

According to Cal Matters, potential candidates for the seat, all Republicans, include former Rep. Devin Nunes, State Sen. Shannon Grove, Rep. David Valadao, Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, and former Rep. Connie Conway.

Prior to Fong’s announcement, Cal Matters said, “At 44, Fong could serve for decades and move into leadership. The Princeton graduate has long been a favorite of McCarthy and served as his district director prior to his election to the Assembly 2016. He was a former staffer for Republican Rep. Bill Thomas. He’s been a leader in the failed Republican efforts to suspend California’s gas tax. A lifetime NRA member, he’s pushed back against the Democratic majority on gun control.”

At the same time, Cal Matters said, “Fong is unknown in the wealthy Fresno suburbs that are an important part of McCarthy’s district. He has no local government experience.”

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