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Fresno State Grad Launches ‘Longshot’ Challenge to Speaker Kevin McCarthy



Andy Morales (left) is challenging Speaker Kevin McCarthy for Congress in 2024. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has a challenger for the 2024 election, with the primary scheduled 13 months away.

David Taub

Politics 101

Andy Morales was born and raised in Bakersfield, graduated from Fresno State last year, and currently works in security.

“I’m a Gen-Z Security officer, Latino, and the candidate running to get MAGA extremist Kevin McCarthy out of Congress,” Morales wrote on Twitter.

His campaign consultant, Phil Arballo, admits that Morales’ chances are a “longshot.”

“We wouldn’t get anywhere in this country if we didn’t have challengers,” Arballo said.

With redistricting, McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, now represents Clovis and portions of Fresno. He won re-election in 2022 with 68% of the vote over Democrat Marisa Wood.

The primary is March 5, 2024.

Also in Politics 101 ….

  • What are Phil Arballo’s 2024 plans?
  • What the Assembly Majority Leader says about Joaquin Arambula’s speakership desire;
  • A new job for Andreas Borgeas;
  • Update on Annalisa Perea and the Big Fresno Fair board.

Is Arballo Running in 2024?

Phil Arballo

Arballo filed paperwork Dec. 27 to run in Congressional District 13, represented by John Duarte, R-Modesto. He said the filing was to handle continuing campaign contributions from his prior run. He has not made up his mind if he will actually run in 2024.

He lost in the CD 13 primary in 2022; and lost to Devin Nunes in the 2020 general election.

Federal campaign finance records show Arballo refunded more than $138,000 in contributions. He said that was money given for the general election that he had to return.

His news of consulting for Morales drew criticism.

“Serial congressional candidate Phil Arballo finds his next meal ticket and looks set to rake in the lucrative #resist-fueled consulting fees that come from running a sacrificial candidate against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in #CA20,” wrote Rob Pyers of the California Target Book on Twitter.

Arballo brushed back Pyers’ comments.

“I could care less what Rob Pyers thinks,” Arballo said.

No Support for Arambula for Speaker from Democratic Leader

Eloise Reyes

The California Assembly Majority Leader does not have much of an opinion about Joaquin Arambula’s desire to become Assembly Speaker.

“The caucus has already voted regarding our transition of leadership,” Eloise Reyes, D-Colton (San Bernardino County), said. “(The votes) represent the will of the Assembly Democratic Caucus. And as a member, I will continue to support the will of my colleagues.”

Assembly Democrats voted on a Speaker transition plan from current leader Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, to Robert Rivas, D-Hollister. The transition will take place July 1.

Arambula, D-Fresno, said he is considering running for the job as well.

Reyes said she has not spoken to Arambula and called him a friend. She is unaware of any dissension in the Democratic ranks.

“I don’t know what he’s thinking. I don’t know his thought process. I think that would be a fair question for him,” Reyes said.

Borgeas Lands New Job

Andreas Borgeas

Former state Senator Andreas Borgeas has found a post-political job. He will work as a consultant for an international energy firm, the Eunice Group. He will serve as CEO of Greece-Africa Power Interconnector “the transnational electricity interconnection project between Greece and Egypt,” a company news release said.

Borgeas, R-Fresno, will work with the countries and the European Union on electrical projects.

“It is a great honor for me to join a project of vital importance for European interests, highlighting Greece’s role as an energy leader and hub in the SE Mediterranean and Europe, aside a team of industry leaders with extensive experience and technical expertise. Greece is acquiring a unique role in defending Europe’s energy autonomy and security, and I deeply believe that now is Greece’s moment!” Borgeas said in the news release.

Borgeas served one term as state Senator representing the Fresno-Clovis area from 2018-2022. He opted not to run for re-election after redistricting, which could have pitted him against fellow Republican Shannon Grove. Borgeas has also served as on the Fresno City Council, and Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

Fair Board: Perea Good to Serve

Updating an item from earlier this week, the Big Fresno Fair board says there is no issue with Annalisa Perea serving on both the fair board and the Fresno City Council.

“Upon election to the Fresno City Council, The Big Fresno Fair Management consulted with California Department of Food & Agriculture, Division of Fairs & Expositions’ legal counsel and were advised that Annalisa Perea can continue to serve on The Big Fresno Fair Board of Directors, but would need to recuse herself on Board vote relative to any contracts or business dealings with the City of Fresno,” Fair spokeswoman Danielle Griffin told Politics 101.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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