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Asian Am Republican ruled ineligible to replace McCarthy

California Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) says he will sue to get his name back on the ballot to run for Kevin McCarthy’s seat in Congress, reports Politico.

The former House speaker recently announced he would not seek re-election, setting off a mad scramble to replace him.

Fong had already qualified to run for re-election for his assembly seat and California law does not allow a candidate to run for two offices at the same time. The law also prohibits him from withdrawing his candidacy after the deadline to file passes.

Fong once served as McCarthy’s political director, but announced he would not run for his former mentor’s seat. That changed when the expected frontrunner, State Sen Shannon Grove (R-Kern County). announced she would not run.

So Fong filed, but on Friday California’s Secretary of State announced that Fong’s candidacy is a violation of state law and pulled Fong’s name from the ballot. The ruling was not a surprise to Fong who immediately announced he would sue.

“State law prohibits any candidate from filing nomination papers for more than one office at the same election,” the secretary of state’s office said in a statement, according to The Hill. “As such, the Secretary of State’s office has determined that Mr. Fong’s filed nomination papers for Congressional District 20 were improperly submitted.”

Fong called the Secretary’s decision an “unprecedented interference” in the filing process.

“Voters in the 20th Congressional District have a right to choose the candidate of their choice to represent them in Congress,” Fong said in a statement. “I will fight the Secretary of State’s misguided decision and do whatever it takes to give voters in our community a real choice in this election because the voters choose our elected officials, not Sacramento.”

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