CENTRAL VALLEY – Tulare County’s Mike Boudreaux has thrown his sheriff’s hat into the ring for the 20th Congressional District seat after incumbent Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, announced he would step down earlier this month.
Boudreaux officially announced his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives on Dec. 13, after stating just days prior that he had been in “prayer and deep conversation” with his family while deciding to run. In his campaign announcement, he said he was honored by the volume of calls he received asking him to run.
“In my time as Sheriff, I have led the charge to make Tulare County one of the safest in California — even when it meant going toe-to-toe with decriminalization efforts by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sacramento,” Boudreaux said in his announcement. “Because of this need for experienced leadership, I am excited to announce my candidacy for Congress in 2024.”
According to the unofficial candidate list published by the Tulare County Registrar of Voters, Boudreaux was issued a nomination petition and paid the filing fee of $1,740 on Dec. 11. His announcement came just hours before the extended filing deadline — which is put in place when there is no incumbent for a district — on Dec. 13.
Boudreaux was first elected to the sheriff’s office in November 2014 and had been serving the county as acting sheriff since October 2013. As Tulare County Sheriff, Boudreaux has focused his platform on law and order.
He highlighted his achievements in law enforcement in his announcement, including the multi-agency Operation LOCCUST Boudreaux spearheaded in the 2000s to eradicate cannabis growing operations in the San Joaquin Valley.
According to Boudreaux’s announcement, he wants to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico border and “restore fairness” to the immigration system, focus on fiscal responsibility and address water issues in the Central Valley.
“I will fight against Washington’s reckless tax-and-spend culture, bringing fiscal responsibility back to the center of our national finances,” Boudreaux said. “And I will be the loudest advocate for the Valley’s fair share of water resources to support our region’s farmers who feed not only the nation, but the world.”
In addition to a decades-long career with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, which he began at the age of 19, Boudreaux holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and management, a master’s degree in justice administration and graduated from the FBI National Academy and the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Point Leadership Academy.
The 20th Congressional District is long and winding and includes portions of Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. It covers parts of Bakersfield, extending west toward Maricopa and south toward Rosamond. To the east, it reaches Ridgecrest and much of the southern Sierra Nevada.
The district’s furthest point north is Millerton Lake in Fresno County, where it also encompasses portions of Clovis. Within Tulare County, the district branches out along north Tulare and south Visalia, ending west of Lemoore. It also includes parts of the Edwards Air Force Base.
“I’m excited to visit all corners of the 20th district and meet with voters to earn their support to represent the Valley in Congress,” Boudreaux said.