Loading...

Republicans Vying for Nunes Seat Hew Close to His Legacy

March 3, 2022 by Dan McCue
Republicans Vying for Nunes Seat Hew Close to His Legacy
Connie Conway

FRESNO, Calif. — The four Republicans running to serve out the unexpired term of former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., have a number of things in common.

They’re all for stricter voting laws, would likely try to defund schools that allegedly teach critical race theory, and most say they’d support a re-election bid by former President Donald Trump.

“I’m not here to replace Devin Nunes. I’m here to finish up what he started,” said Michael Maher, a businessman, at a candidate forum hosted by the Fresno County Republican Party.

And that sentiment was echoed by former state Assembly member Connie Conway, entrepreneurs Elizabeth Heng and Matthew Stoll, who all hope special election voters will afford them the chance to fill out Nunes’ term.

Nunes, of course, set off the April 5 primary contest with his resignation from Congress in January to join Trump’s new social media venture.

If no candidate gets a majority of the vote in the all-party primary, the top two finishers will face each other again on June 7, when California holds its general election primaries.

And that’s when things could get interesting. The special election will be the last electoral contest to use the old map of California’s 22nd Congressional District. In November, a new map will be used with boundaries considered much more favorable to a Democrat winning the seat.

According to the nonpartisan FiveThirtyEight website, the changes to the map caused the district to go from Republican-leaning district (R+11) to a Democraic leaning one (D+16).

At the candidate forum in Fresno, Maher, Stoll and Conway all said they would whole-heartedly support Trump if he chooses to run for president again in 2024.

Heng, who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign, told the 200 attendees at the event that she would rather wait and see how the Republican presidential primaries play out.

“I actually believe in having primaries and discussions and for people to earn the support of our elected candidates,” she said.

Still, she said she thought Trump would be a great candidate, as would Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, among others.

All four candidates said they support an audit of the 2020 presidential elections results and emphasized implementing more restrictive voting measures.

The seat has been an important stronghold for the Republican party since Nunes’s first election to Congress in 2002.

During the Fresno forum, all four candidates weighed in on the GOP’s position on everything from stricter voter rules to critical race theory in schools and abortion, but also said they will focus just as much to issues impacting California’s central San Joaquin Valley directly, like the need for better access to fresh water and economic development.

All spoke of how important it is to win against the “radical left” and the “progressives agenda.”

The Democrat in the race is Rep. Jim Costa, who announced last year that he would run in the new 21st District.

Costa has served in Congress since 2013 and currently represents the 16th District, which neighbors Nunes’ former district.

Costa is widely expected to ultimately win the seat, which many political analysts say has already been “flipped” Democratic due to its new contours.

The same analysts also say Nunes would have likely had a tough reelection battle ahead of him in the new district, precisely because he was so aligned with Trump.

As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee from 2015 to 2019, he led an investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election that concluded there was no evidence of collusion with Trump’s campaign.

Nunes also defended the former president during the first impeachment trial in 2019.

Trump later awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom praising Nunes for helping to “thwart a plot to take down a sitting United States president” through the Russia investigation.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

In The News

Health

Voting

2022 Elections

Andrew Giuliani Invokes Famous Dad in Bid for NY Governor

NEW YORK (AP) — After 2020, Rudy Giuliani is not someone most politicians would summon to hold a news conference on their... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — After 2020, Rudy Giuliani is not someone most politicians would summon to hold a news conference on their behalf. As the frontman of former President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud, Giuliani made notorious appearances before cameras where he espoused baseless theories — once while... Read More

June 25, 2022
by Dan McCue
Interesting Races Abound as Five States Head to the Polls on Tuesday

WASHINGTON — This week will see yet another post-COVID “Super Tuesday” unfold as voters in five states — New York,... Read More

WASHINGTON — This week will see yet another post-COVID “Super Tuesday” unfold as voters in five states — New York, Illinois, Colorado, Oklahoma and Utah head to the polls. New York In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul is expected to cruise to a comfortable win against... Read More

Britt Wins Tumultuous Alabama Senate Race Scrambled by Trump

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Katie Britt won the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama Tuesday, defeating six-term Rep. Mo Brooks... Read More

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Katie Britt won the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama Tuesday, defeating six-term Rep. Mo Brooks in a primary runoff after former President Donald Trump took the unusual step of rescinding his initial Brooks endorsement. The loss ends a turbulent campaign that... Read More

Takeaways: New Warning for Left, Trump's Conditional Loyalty

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moderate Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser won her Democratic primary, offering a fresh warning to progressives. Meanwhile,... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Moderate Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser won her Democratic primary, offering a fresh warning to progressives. Meanwhile, a Republican who was backed by Donald Trump at the last minute prevailed on Tuesday in an Alabama Senate runoff. But in neighboring Georgia, the former... Read More

Facebook Removes GOP Senate Candidate's 'RINO Hunting' Video

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook on Monday removed a campaign video by Republican Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Eric Greitens that shows... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook on Monday removed a campaign video by Republican Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Eric Greitens that shows him brandishing a shotgun and declaring that he's hunting RINOs, or Republicans In Name Only. In the ad, Greitens, a former Missouri governor who resigned in disgrace in... Read More

June 18, 2022
by Dan McCue
The Choice in Virginia and DC: Stay the Course or Embrace Change

WASHINGTON — Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the 2021 gubernatorial contest has Republicans dreaming of pulling the state’s congressional delegation solidly... Read More

WASHINGTON — Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the 2021 gubernatorial contest has Republicans dreaming of pulling the state’s congressional delegation solidly back into the red column. This year the smart money says both Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., who currently represents the state’s 7th Congressional District, and Rep.... Read More

News From The Well