Local businessman Michael Maher is announcing his candidacy for the 21st Congressional District.
Maher is a Republican and enters the 2024 election against Democrat incumbent Jim Costa. He is endorsed by a host of local leaders, including Congresswoman Connie Conway (ret.), State Senator Shannon Grove, Assemblyman Devon Mathis, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, Fresno County Supervisor Debbie Poochigian, Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes, Tulare County Supervisor Pete Vander Poel, Tulare County Supervisor Dennis Townsend, Visalia Mayor Brian Poochigian, Reedley Mayor Matt Tuttle, and Selma School Board Member Nick Sahota.
In her endorsement of Maher, Senator Shannon Grove wrote, “We need Michael Maher in Congress representing our Central Valley now more than ever. Michael grew up in the Valley, is raising his family here, and understands our needs, from agriculture and water to lower taxes and costs.
“With threats from China and others at our northern and southern border, and the expansion of fentanyl trafficking, Michael Maher’s national security and law enforcement expertise as a former member of the FBI’s National Security Division and Counterproliferation Unit will ensure our nation stands strong in an increasingly dangerous world.
“I am proud to endorse and support Navy Veteran and businessman Michael Maher for Congress.”
Michael Maher grew up in Tulare. His parents met and married when they were in the U.S. Air Force and later settled in Tulare, where his father is a pastor. Maher graduated in 2001 from Tulare Union High School. Later that year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served aboard the USS SALT LAKE CITY SSN-716, a Los Angeles Class Fast Attack Submarine, stationed at the U.S. Navy Submarine Base, Point Loma, California. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Preparatory School and Fresno Pacific University. Maher served in the U.S. Department of Justice as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working in the National Security Division.
“Our nation is under attack from foreign governments, drug cartels, and extremists that care more about a “woke” agenda than doing what helps the American people. This hits home every day in the Central Valley. Fentanyl is killing our youth. Crime is increasing. Farmers face challenges from those who want to put them out of business and take their water. Families are wrestling with inflation, paying more but getting less.
“I know the threats to our families, community, and nation. We are beginning to take the right steps, and today I am announcing that I am running for Congress to help accelerate that change and keep our families, our Central Valley, and our nation safe and strong,” said Michael Maher.