Two prominent Valley Republican congressmen — including House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield — quietly came to Fresno today where they briefed prominent area business and agriculture leaders on Washington D.C.’s political climate.
The noon meeting was hosted by local businessman Richard Spencer at his Harris Construction office near Fresno Yosemite International Airport.
McCarthy, the third-ranking Republican in the U.S. House, was joined by Visalia Republican Devin Nunes.
Officials with Nunes’ office did not return an email seeking comment about the meeting.
There was talk that finding a quality opponent for Fresno Democrat Jim Costa was on the agenda, as was making sure Hanford Republican David Valadao, a congressional freshman, was politically safe.
Democrat Barack Obama won Valadao’s district by 11 percentage points last November over Republican Mitt Romney.
But west side grower Mark Borba, a Republican who attended the meeting and supports Costa, said Valley politics was not on discussed.
Instead, Borba said the talk was focused on looming automatic federal spending reductions — known in Washington as sequestration — and other budget issues facing Congress.
“It was their chance to give us update on where we are and where we’re headed,” Borba said. “There was no campaign talk at all.”
Others seen leaving the meeting included Fresno businessman Bob Smittcamp and Nat DiBuduo, president of Allied Grape Growers.