BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — In a phone call with 17 News early afternoon Friday, Bakersfield Congressman and former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy denied reports of resignation from Congress.
McCarthy told 17 News he will finish his current term with the 20th Congressional District — which includes parts of Kern, Kings, Tulare and Fresno counties — and run for re-election, come 2024.
POLITICO reported McCarthy is “considering” resigning before the end of his current congressional term, but McCarthy denied the resulting rumors.
McCarthy has represented Bakersfield, Kern County and surrounding areas in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007.
McCarthy was ousted as Speaker of the House on Tuesday and confirmed he would not run again for Speaker.
He later spoke to Capitol Hill reporters as well, telling them, “No, I’m not resigning… I’m staying, so don’t worry, I got a lot more work to do.”
If a congressional seat is vacant in California, the governor must call for a special election.
McCarthy has yet to file his candidacy for re-election, as verified by 17 News with the Kern County Elections Division.
“I’ll keep the [House] majority,” McCarthy also told reporters. “I’m gonna help the people I got here and expand it further.”
Those who have formally filed to run for the 20th congressional seat are Andy Morales — a public safety officer — Sarah Jacqueline Goldberg — a disabled civic servant — and Joe Murillo — an appliance repair man.
When asked about the election for his successor, McCarthy responded he hasn’t seen the list of endorsements for the speaker-hopefuls, which include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.
“I’ll let them go work,” he said, instead of naming an endorsement.
And on Donald Trump’s involvement in the battle for the gavel, which includes Mr. Trump’s endorsement of Jordan, as well as his own potential candidacy for speakership, McCarthy simply responded, only House members can vote.
McCarthy also said if he ever leaves office, he will announce that himself.