California Sets Date for Special Election

( – California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Monday, January 8, the scheduling of a special election to fill the vacancy resulting from former Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s resignation last month, set for May 21. The governor specified that the special election primary is slated for March 19.

McCarthy, who represented California’s 20th Congressional District, declared his resignation in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on December 6 and officially stepped down on December 31, as CNN reported earlier.

The outcome of the election in McCarthy’s former district, which the ex-speaker easily won in 2022, could be crucial for House Republicans as they navigate a slim majority in their legislative agenda. With McCarthy resigning and the removal of former Rep. George Santos last year, Republicans began the New Year with a narrow majority of 220 seats over Democrats’ 213. The House GOP’s slim majority allows only a few deviations on party priorities.

Furthermore, Ohio GOP Representative Bill Johnson plans to resign on January 21 to assume the role of president at Youngstown State University. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise will be working remotely until February due to a stem cell transplant for the rare blood cancer diagnosed in August 2023. During his absence, a temporary replacement will step in.

McCarthy served in the House for 17 years, including a year as House speaker, following a historic 15 rounds of voting. However, his tenure as speaker lasted only nine months. The right flank of his party, displeased with him for backing a stopgap spending bill with Democratic support, successfully removed him from the leadership position.

He became the first House speaker in history to be ousted. “I never anticipated the journey when I entered the race,” McCarthy expressed in his WSJ op-ed. “I’m leaving, knowing I gave it my all—as always, with a smile. Reflecting on it, I wouldn’t have had it any differently.”

Last month, McCarthy didn’t dismiss the possibility of joining a Trump administration, stating on Fox News, “I will assist, whether I’m in or out. I want the country to succeed.”

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