Rep. David Valadao was only the second Republican in the House to be reelected on Monday. He was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump over the uprising in the Capitol on January 6.
Valadao (R-Calif.) had a 3-point lead over Rudy Salas, a Democrat who was running against him in California’s 22nd District and was a member of the state Assembly when the race was called in his favor. The district is in the Central Valley of the state.
In 2012, the 21st District voted him into Congress for the first time. He lost his bid for re-election in 2018, but he won it back in 2020. After redistricting, he moved to the 22nd district.
Last Wednesday, Republicans got the most votes in the House. Valadao’s win gives them a 219-212 lead in the next House, with four races still to be decided: one in Alaska, where the Democrat is ahead, one in Colorado, where the Republican is barely ahead but the Democrat has conceded, and two in California (where the Republicans are slightly ahead).
Ten Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump in early 2021. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) was the only other winner. He won decisively earlier this month after beating Trump supporter Loren Culp in an all-party primary. Valadao had also made it out of a primary that was open to all parties.
A Close Election
Salas, who is 45 years old, has been talked about as a candidate for Congress for a while. He has been the Assembly member for the area for ten years. The moderate Democrat was the first Latino to serve on the city council of Bakersfield, California, where he grew up.
Salas would have been the first Latino House member from the San Joaquin Valley if voters had chosen him. The race in the 22nd district, which includes farmland from Hanford to Shafter in the San Joaquin Valley, got a lot of attention from the national media. Both parties bought a lot of ads and spent a lot of money on the race.
By 13 percentage points, they would have voted for Vice President Joe Biden as president in 2020. There are more Democrats who have signed up to vote than Republicans. Even though the predicted “red wave” didn’t happen nationwide in the 2022 midterm elections, Valadao has changed votes for the Democrats in the past.
Some Valley voters liked Republicans because they didn’t like the Democrats in Sacramento, according to interviews done before the election. The way people have voted in the past showed that Democrats might be at a disadvantage.
And Matt Rexroad, a Republican consultant in California, has told The Bee many times that Valadao is “the one guy” you should “never, ever count out of a race.” Last month, Rexroad said, “He can just do it.” “Even when everything else goes wrong, David Valadao makes it work.”