Watch CBS News

California Gov. Gavin Newsom sets date for special election to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy: The exit interview
Kevin McCarthy: The exit interview 06:55

Washington — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday set the date for a special election to fill the vacancy left by former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who resigned from Congress last month. 

Newsom set the primary for the special election in the state's 20th Congressional District for March 19, a contest that will include candidates of any party. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote in the Bakersfield-area district, the top two candidates, regardless of party, will move on to a general election, scheduled for May 21. The winner will serve for the remainder of McCarthy's House term.

McCarthy's resignation, which came months after he was ousted as House speaker, opened up a crowded primary in the safely Republican district. And the timeline offers those lining up to replace him ample time to campaign.

Meanwhile, the election to win McCarthy's seat for a full term in November will already be underway, with a primary set for March 5. Several state and local GOP officials, including Assemblymember Vince Fong, former congressional candidate David Giglio and Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, are already vying for the seat. 

McCarthy announced in December that he was leaving Congress to "serve America in new ways," after he became the first speaker in U.S. history to be ousted from his post two months earlier.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.