EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify details about the process of filing for re-election.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Bakersfield Congressman and former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Monday has pulled the necessary paperwork for re-election to the House of Representatives, 17 News has confirmed with the Kern County Elections Division.
Elections Office officials said McCarthy has begun the process to officially file for re-election in 2024.
This does not mean McCarthy has to follow through with returning to office, however. The campaign move comes amid continued doubts on whether McCarthy will resign mid-term. Over the weekend, CNN reported the congressman said he may not seek another term.
“I got the holidays. I will talk to my family about the ideas of what is going forward, and then I will make a decision,” McCarthy told CNN.
What filing for re-election allows a candidate in office to do is continue to utilize their campaign funds within legal bounds. This includes supporting or opposing ballot initiatives, as well as other candidate campaigns.
A candidate committee can donate up to $2,000 per election to another candidate committee (the primary and general elections are considered separate).
McCarthy recently made a maximum contribution to Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford).
According to his most recent FEC filings, McCarthy has raised around $14 million, with nearly $11 million in cash on hand.
McCarthy represents California’s 20th congressional district, which includes parts of Kern.
In Kern County, Monday marked the start of candidate filings, meaning incumbents of and hopefuls for local, state and federal offices can declare their 2024 run. As of Monday afternoon, six candidates had begun their candidacy paperwork to run against McCarthy.
When asked about his confidence in winning re-election following his ouster, as well as pulling paperwork on Day 1 of the filing period, the McCarthy campaign told 17 News “no comment.”
Other local lawmakers who’ve begun the process for re-election include California assemblymembers Vince Fong and Dr. Jasmeet Bains, as well as District 1 Supervisor Phillip Peters.
State Senator Melissa Hurtado began the process to run for Congressional District 22 against Rep. Valadao, who has declared candidacy for re-election in Kings County.