BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Wednesday night, 17 News is hosting a debate between the two candidates hoping to lead California’s 20th Congressional district. 

Fairfax junior high school teacher Democrat Marisa Wood is taking on House Minority Leader Republican Kevin McCarthy who has been in Congress since 2007. 

This year, both candidates are taking on brand new district lines.

The 20th congressional district stretches from Bakersfield up to the Fresno suburb of Clovis. Of the registered voters in the area, 71% are white, 24% are Latino, 4% are Asian and less than 1% are Black.

This is a significant election for both candidates in very different ways. 

For Wood, she is taking her first step into politics and hoping to take down the political powerhouse McCarthy. But it will be an uphill battle for Wood as a Democrat in the 20th Congressional district — the reddest House district in the state where Republicans out-register Democrats by a margin of nearly 20%. 

For McCarthy, this is arguably the closest he has ever been to the job he has long coveted. If Republicans take back the House in this midterm election, as expected, McCarthy is likely to become Speaker of the House.