California Republican Rep. David Valadao elected to represent the state’s 22nd Congressional District
Republican Rep. David Valadao will win re-election over Democratic challenger Rudy Salas for California’s 22nd congressional district, The Associated Press projects.
Valadao, who currently represents California’s 21st District, sought re-election in the neighboring district after congressional lines were redrawn in the state. The district now includes parts of Kern, Kings and Tulare counties.
The high-stakes race was one of 10 key contests in California in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, which could ultimately determine whether Republicans regain their majority in the House of Representatives.
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Valadao is one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump over his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and Democrats saw the election as an opportunity to use their vote. The new redrawn district lines also added more Democratic voters, favoring Democrats.
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In the June 7 primary, Salas and Valadao defeated Chris Mathys and Adam Thomas Medeiros in California’s jungle primary system. Salas, the only Democratic candidate, won 45.4% of the total vote, while Valadao took 25.6% in a contest with two other Republicans. Overall, Republicans won 54.6% of the total vote.
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Valadao was first elected to Congress in 2012, serving from 2013 to 2019. In 2018, he narrowly lost a runoff by 862 votes, but won the next election and regained the seat.
California’s 22nd District has historically favored Democrats, voting for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election with 55.5% to Trump’s 38.9%.
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The district’s vote was slightly closer in 2020, voting to support President Joe Biden with 55.4% to Trump’s 42.1%.
Biden visited California in October to rally support and raise money for vulnerable Democrats.