Republican Candidate Scores Win In California District

( )- Republicans landed a major upset victory this week when Representative David Valadao officially took down his challenger, Democrat Rudy Salas.

The district that the seat represents in California has a strong presence of Democratic voters, which serves as a major victory for the GOP. While the party had already secured control of the House before the results of this race were announced, it’s still important as it expands their majority.

The Associated Press finally called the race on Monday night, nearly two weeks after Election Day. At the point they called the race, 98% of the votes were counted in the district, showing that Valadao garnered 52% compared to Salas’ 48%.

Before the election, many political pundits believed that Salas had a solid chance to upend the Republican incumbent. The Cook Political Report, for example, categorized the race between the two as a toss up.

In winning re-election, Valadao finds himself in rare company. He was among the 10 Republican members of the House who voted in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump. Many of the other GOP House members who did so lost in their re-election battles. That includes Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who actually lost the GOP primary before she ever got a chance to run for re-election in the General Election.

In fact, the only other Republican House member who voted for Trump’s impeachment who will be serving in the next Congress is Washington Representative Dan Newhouse. All the others either lost their re-election bids or decided to retire from Congress.

Valadao has served this district for a while now. He was a representative from 2013 through 2019, and then began to serve again in 2021.

CalMatters reports that Valadao’s ability to consistently win this seat is impressive considering the 22nd District in California has many more voters who are registered as Democrats that registered as Republicans.

The district was redrawn recently, making it much more liberal than it had ben in recent years.

The media outlet reported recently that:

“In this district, Democrats exceed Republicans as a share of registered voters by 17.35 percentage points.”

The district in question is located in California’s farm belt. That resulted in voters being concerned not just about the overall state of the economy but also about water and agricultural issues.

Valadao had strong backing from conservative Political Action Committees. That includes the Kevin McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund.

According to California Target Book, a political tracking group that’s non-partisan, these GOP PACs spent in excess of $11 million to advertise on behalf of Valadao in his bid for re-election. Apparently, all that money was put to good use.

The New York Times reported this week that Valadao voted mainly along party lines during the last Congress. He opposed the bipartisan infrastructure bill as well as the pandemic relief package Democrats passed with budget reconciliation.

His campaign focused on boosting the economy, protecting jobs, taking care of the elderly and many agricultural issues important to those who represents.