Gov. Newsom Announces Special Election For McCarthy’s Former District

by Evan Symon at

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday that the special election primary for the 20th Congressional District, which former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vacated early last month, will be held on March 19th, with the special general election, if needed, to occur on May 21st.

Since 2007, McCarthy had held the seat for the Bakersfield-area district. While initially just a rank-and-file member of the House, McCarthy soon became elevated to higher and higher positions. This included being Chief Deputy Whip in 2009, House Majority Whip in 2011, and House Minority Leader in 2014. Following a botched run for Speaker in 2015, McCarthy reorganized, became the Minority Leader once again, and in January of 2023, finally became Speaker of the House.

However, his tenure was short-lived. In September, McCarthy pushed forward a spending bill without the significant cuts that many in the GOP wanted, nor did it cut funding for Ukraine in their war with Russia. With many Republicans upset, and Democrats wanting McCarthy out as well, a vote to remove McCarthy as House Speaker was initiated in early October. The vote narrowly passed 216-210, with eight Republicans joining the Democrats in ousting McCarthy.

Weakened from his removal, McCarthy contemplated remaining in Congress in the last few months amid a large scramble for the House Speakership. While many believed that McCarthy would leave at the end of his term following the 2024 election, McCarthy instead opted for an earlier retirement last month, leaving officially on December 6th.