Kevin Owen McCarthy Gains Unlikely Support from GOP Activists at California Convention

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Despite Kevin Owen McCarthy’s historically strained relations with hard-right factions, the rank-and-file of the California GOP showed solidarity with the embattled Bakersfield native.

Kevin Owen McCarthy
Kevin Owen McCarthy ( Photo: Capital Public Radio )

Kevin Owen McCarthy, the House speaker from California, found unexpected support from staunch GOP activists at a state convention near Disneyland

Paula Whitsell, chair of the San Diego County Republican Party, expressed trust in Kevin Owen McCarthy’s experience and leadership in navigating tough political terrain. While some delegates may rally behind Rep. Matt Gaetz’s effort to depose Kevin Owen McCarthy once they return to their conservative media sources, the convention’s focus remained on presidential campaigns and contentious topics like abortion.

Despite Kevin Owen McCarthy’s efforts to bolster the state’s struggling party infrastructure, the grassroots base remains skeptical of him as a symbol of the establishment. Woody Woodman, a San Diego delegate, voiced his preference for conservative firebrands like Reps. Jim Jordan and Thomas Massie.

Mark Rizk, a delegate from Los Angeles, dismissed Gaetz’s anti-McCarthy campaign as immature and petty, affirming Kevin Owen McCarthy’s continued role as House speaker until a potential Democratic takeover.

Kevin Owen McCarthy did face detractors, including Rebekah Carlson and Frances Kay Marshall, their focus was primarily on critical race theory, transgender issues, and Donald Trump’s appearance at the convention

Congressional maneuverings held little sway over their interests. Marshall, resplendent in a Trump-themed outfit, emphasized her attention on the California GOP. Surprisingly, Kevin Owen McCarthy’s role was not a central point of discussion even among Republicans staking their careers on appealing to the conservative base.

Denice Gary-Pandol, a Kern County political scientist and candidate for the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, acknowledged Kevin Owen McCarthy’s dedication to veterans, highlighting it as a commendable trait.


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