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Speaker McCarthy . / Laura Austin Photo

New speaker comes home, addresses, thanks supporters

By Patricia Farris News Review Publisher–

New Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy hosted a Meet and Greet Event on Thursday afternoon January 20 at the Downtown Bakersfield Fox Theater.

More than 1200 Bakersfield and Greater Kern County supporters attended the gala event. The theater was colorfully decorated with red, white, and blue balloons and garlands.

Around 4 pm the curtain was raised with McCarthy on center stage. The event took place nearly two weeks after winning his bid for Speaker of the House.

In his opening remarks, he said, “It feels good to be back home since the Speakers’ vote, but I wanted to have an opportunity to say thank you to the community that pretty much raised me.”

He referred on several occasions to California Governor Gavin Newsom’s approach to government. He even poked fun at Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat from California, by saying, “We believe that our government is not the power – we’re the power. So we created a community to keep the government in check and provide checks and balances.”

McCarthy publicly thanked several of his GOP comrades who were in attendance, including Assemblyman Vince Fong, State Senator Shannon Grove, and David Valadao, his neighboring Congressman. 

McCarthy will now represent different things to different people. To Bakersfield, he’s a Bakersfield High School alum and all-star tight end. To the rest of the country, he is the deciding factor in the passage of the law and he’s second in line for the presidency.

He acknowledges the challenges of his new role and forewarned those in attendance that there is a bumpy road ahead.

“So, just as running for speaker, there’s going to be some ups and downs,” McCarthy said. “You stay with me… at the end of the road it is going to be better than it was today.”