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Tags: mccarthy | fong | congress | california
CORRESPONDENT

'McCarthy's McCarthy' Unlikely to Be Successor

John Gizzi By Monday, 18 December 2023 04:36 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

With the passing last week of the filing deadline to run for the seat of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., signs now indicate that his successor will not be the Californian long dubbed "McCarthy's McCarthy" — State Assemblyman Vince Fong, who had previously worked in McCarthy's district office, California's 20th District.

Fong had expected to run with McCarthy's endorsement and fundraising muscle. But it was not to be.

On Friday, after Fong had formally entered the special U.S. House race, Democrat Secretary of State Shirley Weber issued a statement saying that the GOP legislator was ineligible to run for Congress "because he had previously filed paperwork to run for re-election to the California State Assembly. ... State law prohibits any candidate from filing nomination papers for more than one office in the same election."

A stunned Fong, 44, immediately announced plans to overturn Weber's ruling in court and get on the ballot for the special election March 5 (the same day as California's presidential primary).

"It is a complicated situation," Jon Fleischman, editor of the Flash Report, which covers California politics, told Newsmax, "Not only would a judge have to hold that the statute is not constitutional, I suppose, but he was also the only candidate who filed for the Assembly seat. So if he is allowed to be a candidate for Congress they would have to reopen filing for the Assembly seat.

"So many judges are appointees of [Democrat Gov. Gavin] Newsom and [former Democrat Gov. Jerry] Brown now. If this goes to the state Supreme Court, that's stacked with Democrats."

Many Republicans still cite a case of half a century ago as an example of Democrat partisanship working against Republicans desiring to seek office.

When S.I. Hayakawa resigned as president of San Francisco State College in 1973, he wanted to run against Democrat Sen. Alan Cranston the following year. Although Hayakawa had switched from Democrat to Republican, he had not been a registered Republican 12 months and was thus ineligible to run under Section 6401 of the California Elections Code. 

Hayakawa presented papers to qualify as a Senate candidate to his county clerk and to Democrat Secretary of State Jerry Brown. Both rejected him on the grounds he did not meet the length of time required to become a candidate.

Hayakawa then petitioned the State Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus (to subordinate the Clerk and Brown in order to run), but was turned down 4 to 3 without a written opinion. In 1976, Hayakawa was eligible to run and won California's other Senate seat by ousting Democrat incumbent John Tunney.

Should Fong fail to make the ballot, the almost certain victor on March 5 will be State Sen. Shannon Grove, former GOP leader of the Senate and a close ally of Donald Trump.

"I expect this to be resolved before New Year's Day by the courts," California's GOP National Committeeman Shawn Steel told us. "It's a legal wobbly." 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
With the passing last week of the filing deadline to run for the seat of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., signs now indicate that his successor will not be the Californian long dubbed "McCarthy's McCarthy" — State Assemblyman Vince Fong
mccarthy, fong, congress, california
513
2023-36-18
Monday, 18 December 2023 04:36 PM
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