Club One Casino Owner Announces Congressional Run After McCarthy’s Departure from Race

California may be seeing a new face in politics as gambling industry veteran Kyle Kirkland runs for a major political position. Kirkland, known for his influence in the cardroom business, is vying to succeed US Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who departed Congress at the end of 2023.

McCarthy’s removal as House Speaker in October after a 17-year tenure surprised many, creating an opportunity for Kirkland to step into the political arena. However, the Republican candidate will face tough competition for the 20th Congressional District seat, with Assemblyman Vince Fong also seeking reelection and a Congress seat.

Inspired by Fong’s dual campaign, Kirkland decided to join the fray. While lacking political experience, he brings a wealth of business acumen as the owner of Fresno’s Club One Casino, a prominent poker venue with 51 gaming tables, 3 bars, and a restaurant. Prior to his foray into gambling, Kirkland had a lengthy career in the music industry and served as the chairman of Steinway Musical Instruments for almost two decades.

Expressing interest in government and lawmaking, Kirkland believes that McCarthy’s exit presents an opportune moment for a non-career politician to enter politics. He recognizes the pressing issues in California, citing the economy, border crisis, and crime as top concerns. Kirkland asserts that the state needs fresh perspectives and proactive leadership.

In interviews, Kirkland pledged to address the economy and alleviate the high cost of living, leveraging his extensive business background. With the 2024 primary set for March 5, Kirkland looks forward to the opportunity to make a difference in California politics.