Central Valley Republican Rep. David Valadao, whose vote to question President Trump almost sank his marketing campaign within the major, will return to Congress subsequent yr after defeating Democratic state Assemblyman Rudy Salas.
The Related Press referred to as the race Monday, although official outcomes will take longer. After management of the Home tipped to Republicans final week, Valadao’s win and California’s two remaining congressional races are figuring out the scale of the GOP’s majority.
“I’m as soon as once more humbled by the Central Valley’s help and religion in me,” Valadao mentioned in a press release Monday night time. “I commend Rudy Salas for working a powerful marketing campaign and his service to our neighborhood within the state Meeting.”
Valadao additionally thanked marketing campaign employees and volunteers and people nonetheless working to rely ballots. “To the election employees in Kern, Kings and Tulare counties — I recognize your laborious work over the previous couple of weeks to ensure each vote was counted pretty and precisely.”
The race for California’s twenty second Congressional District had lengthy been thought-about a toss-up. Voters there had sided with Joe Biden over President Trump by 13 proportion factors in 2020, making Valadao one of the vital weak GOP incumbents within the nation.
However Salas, 45, needed to cope with the identical headwinds as different Democrats within the nation: excessive gasoline costs and issues about crime, each of which had been the main target of a barrage of assault advertisements in opposition to him.
Democrats had lengthy tried to recruit Salas to run in opposition to Valadao. Earlier than serving 5 phrases within the Meeting, Salas was the primary Latino to serve on the Bakersfield Metropolis Council.
Within the marketing campaign, Salas emphasised his household lineage of farmworkers, together with his childhood summers serving to his father within the fields. Valadao additionally has agricultural bona fides, working a small dairy farm. Each touted their work to shore up water sources within the district, a high concern on this rural space.
Valadao, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, has been a perpetual goal for Democrats, who’ve held a large registration benefit in his district. A average Republican, Valadao had emphasised his help for immigration reform, breaking along with his social gathering. Nonetheless, Democrats efficiently ousted him within the blue wave of 2018, just for Valadao to win the seat again in 2020.
He didn’t have a lot time to bask within the glow of his victory, nonetheless. The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol — which he watched from his Hanford residence as he quarantined with COVID-19 — led Valadao, 45, to be certainly one of 10 Home Republicans to vote for President Trump’s impeachment.
Backlash from the precise was swift. Two Republicans jumped into the congressional race, citing Valadao’s impeachment vote as their major motivator. However whereas Trump endorsed challengers to all different pro-impeachment Republicans who had been looking for reelection, the previous president was conspicuously silent within the lead-up to Valadao’s major.
Trump stayed out of the race for California’s twenty second district on the urging of Home Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy, who comes from neighboring Bakersfield. Given the Democratic tilt of the district, McCarthy satisfied Trump that Valadao was the one Republican who might maintain that seat. Within the June major, Valadao’s two challengers break up the vote, enabling the congressman to narrowly advance to the overall election.
Valadao’s struggles with the bottom had been emblematic of the fallout for Home Republicans who backed impeachment. Of the ten, 4 opted to retire slightly than run once more. 4 others, together with Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, misplaced within the major to a Trump-backed opponent. Valadao and Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington are the one two who will proceed to serve within the Home.
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