Mike Boudreaux drops out of Congressional race

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux drops out of 20th Congressional District race, securing a win for Vince Fong in November

(Tulare County Sheriff's Office)
Serena Bettis
Published July 2, 2024  • 
9:00 am

TULARE COUNTY – A race for Congress that began with nearly a dozen candidates is down to just one after Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux suspended his campaign. 

Through a video posted to his Facebook page on July 1, Boudreaux announced he would drop out of the race and endorse fellow Republican Vince Fong in the Nov. 5 election for the 20th Congressional District. Fong is looking for a more permanent seat in the House of Representatives after he was elected over Boudreaux during the May special election to finish former Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s term.

“While we were on opposite sides of this campaign, at the end of the day, we’re Republicans, we’re family men and fighters who are committed to protecting individual liberty, reducing the cost of living and maintaining safe communities for our neighbors,” Boudreaux said. 

Boudreaux and Fong were the top two vote-getters in both the March 5 primary for the regular election and the March 19 primary for the special election; Fong won the special election runoff on May 21 after receiving more than 60% of the vote. Fong had served in the State Assembly, most recently representing District 32, since 2016 up until he was sworn into Congress last month. 

The 20th Congressional District spans a vast, sprawling area of the Central Valley and includes portions of Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties. Out of the nearly 450,000 registered voters in the district, more than half reside in Kern County, an advantage for the Bakersfield-raised Fong. 

According to the final special election results from the California Secretary of State, Fong received more than 31,700 votes from Kern County residents out of more than 50,600 votes cast for him; Boudreaux received nearly 33,000 votes total. 

Fong also significantly outraised Boudreaux, bringing in nearly $1.7 million as of June 10, according to receipts filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on June 20. Boudreaux, whose last recorded donation was on May 20, raised nearly $457,000 over the course of his campaign. 

In his statement, Boudreaux reflected on why he began his campaign in December 2023, which he called a “chaotic moment” with uncertainty surrounding who would represent District 20, and thanked his supporters who “stood shoulder to shoulder” with him since then. 

“Your support has meant the world to me and I’m incredibly blessed to have made new friends and supporters throughout our Valley because of this campaign,” Boudreaux said. “Simply put: it’s time to bring our region together and help deliver big wins for the Valley.”

Although Boudreaux ended his campaign, his name will still appear next to Fong’s on the November ballot. He said he will continue to support candidates throughout the Central Valley in the run up to the election and announced the launch of a new fundraising effort called “Golden State Justice.”

Boudreaux described Golden State Justice as “a grassroots movement to help steer support to candidates and common sense leaders focused on delivering a safer, stronger and more vibrant Central Valley and California and delivering real wins for our communities.”

The Golden State Justice website offers little information except a prompt to sign up for email updates; it is paid for by the Golden State Justice Political Action Committee (PAC), which does not yet have an official identification number with the state or the FEC.

Serena Bettis
General Assignment Reporter