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Politics 101

Fresno Council Aide Hopes to ‘Burrow’ His Way Past McCarthy



Fresno City Council staffer John Burrows, left, is the latest Democrat to announce a challenge to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield. (GV Wire Composite)
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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has drawn a second opponent for the 2024 election. Unlike Andy Morales who announced last week, John Burrows has the support of the local Democratic Party establishment.

David Taub

Politics 101

Burrows, 28 of Fresno, is familiar to local journalists. He is the spokesman for Fresno City Councilman Nelson Esparza. That means Burrows is experienced in political speak and literally blocking reporters’ access to the story.

“Kevin McCarthy is out of touch with the everyday struggles of the Central Valley. As a successful entrepreneur and experienced public servant, I have a deep understanding of the local economy and am committed to working with lawmakers from both parties to deliver results for the hardworking families of the Central Valley,” Burrows said in a news release.

Burrows was by Esparza’s side during the latter’s attempted extortion court case last year. When this reporter attempted to take photos of Esparza, the tall Burrows literally placed his body in front of his boss to physically impede GV Wire from exercising its First Amendment rights.

Does He Have a Chance?

This will be Burrows’ first foray into running for office. He has the backing of several elected leaders, including five on the Fresno City Council, including his boss Esparza.

Even with first-day momentum, the chance that Burrows or any Democrat topples McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, is slim. McCarthy won election last November with 68% of the vote. He raised $28 million, compared to Democratic opponent Marisa Wood, who raised $1 million.

This could be a long game for Democrats. The odds are against a 2024 victory, but they may be looking down the road at 2030 or beyond. Chipping away a 36-point loss in four election cycles, plus another redistricting by 2032 seems to be the goal.

Last week, Fresno security guard Andy Morales announced he is running as well. McCarthy won his ninth term in office in 2022. With redistricting, the 20th Congressional District he now represents covers Clovis and parts of Fresno.

The primary is March 5, 2024.

Maxwell: Help Wanted

Fresno City Council president Tyler Maxwell is hiring. He is looking for a policy director and a deputy district director.

And who says government work doesn’t pay? The policy director position pays $65,000 to $70,000. Deputy district director starts at $50,000.

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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