New district helps Democrat lead cadre of Republicans

Democrat Rudy Salas takes heavy lead over three Republican candidates in new 22nd Congressional District

TULARE COUNTY – Republican incumbent for Congress, David Valadao, is no stranger to challenges from the Democratic Party. He lost to former congressman TJ Cox in 2018 before retaking the seat in 2018. After redistricting in 2022 he may have a new name to run against: Rudy Salas.

Salas, the Democratic challenger for what is now California Congressional District 22, earned 44.1% of the district’s vote to runoff in November. Valadao on the other hand has taken the lead of Republican candidates with 26.3% of the vote, but Republican challenger Chris Mathys is not far behind with 22.4%.

Salas expressed gratitude to Central Valley residents. “Last week’s victory put us one step closer to the ultimate goal – ensuring hardworking Central Valley families have the representation they deserve,” he said. Until November, he plans to meet with voters and speak with them about issues he described as mattering most: cutting costs, expanding health care, and tackling crime.

Mathys commented on the closeness of the race with Valadao, but overall opted to wait for voters to decide before commenting any further. He remains committed to his campaign message that the United States fared better under former President Donald Trump’s time in office, and that Valadao’s vote to impeach him in January 2021 was not representative of the values of the district. 

“It would be an honor to have the opportunity to represent that community in Washington,” he said.

Valadao’s new district includes half of the city of Tulare, along with Avenal in Tulare County. There are large swaths of Kings and Kern County in his district as well. 

Results from the June 7 Primary Election continue to be tallied until July 15, and Tulare County will have two other Congressional races to watch in November.

Congressional District 21 residents voted Representative Jim Costa to move forth as the Democratic candidate with 46.6% of the votes, and Michael Maher was voted as the republican candidate with 26.6%.

Paula Vinzant, Maher’s campaign manager, said that Maher is excited to move forward to November’s election. He is said to believe it’s time for a change against career politicians and to push for lower gas prices, lower taxes and over burdening regulations. 

“We are laying out our business plan, from sign strategy to mailers to voter ID voter identification,” Vinzant stated. “That’s what we’re working on now.”

Despite a low voter turnout, Costa noted a higher count of votes than previously thought. For Fresno County. He is optimistic going into the November election. 

“I put my trust and faith in the voters of the valley,” he stated. “That’s what I’ve always done.” The Costa campaign states that the congressman is dedicated to important issues such as investment in water and transportation infrastructure, investment in the healthcare system and in medical schools.

Kevin McCarthy from Congressional District 20 has so far earned 59% of the votes and Democratic challenger Marisa Wood will move forward to challenge him with 25.3%.

Wood expressed her excitement moving forward. A Bakersfield teacher, she dedicated her time off work to fundraising and expanding her reach across the district. “Because when Democrats get out and vote, Democrats win,” she said. 

Her campaign managed to raise 670,000 in funds thus far, with an average donation of $23. With high levels of poverty in the Central Valley, Wood stressed the importance of integrity, the oath to defend the Constitution and serving the community.

CORRECTION: Republicans in the 22nd Congressional District are too close to call and incumbent Congressman David Valadao is not in a position to participate in the 2022 November runoff as of yet as the headline and deck had previously stated. Changes made at 3:15 p.m. PST on June 20.

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