Republican congressmen possibly endorsing opposing candidates for Kern County Assessor

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The race is between three candidates for Kern County Assessor, and today it became very competitive but also confusing.

Our two local Republican congressman endorsed opposing candidates, and now they are trying to get back on the same page.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy endorsed Jon Lifquist at a news conference, stating his endorsement for Lifquist due to his decades of experience and dependability.

Just a few hours later, Russell Johnson's camp sent 23ABC an email statement in which Congressman David Valadao was in support of Johnson's run for the Kern County Assessor's Office. In the email they emphasized the need for an outsider to bring back accountability with the recorder's office.

The question is if McCarthy and Valadao's staff knew about the competing endorsements. We placed several phone calls today and learned that Congressman Valadao has retracted his endorsement for Johnson, saying that in this Republican versus Republican primary, they have decided to stay "neutral."

A few hours later, Johnson sent 23ABC an email with the signed copy of Congressman Valadao's endorsement form.


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