An attempt to censure Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, over his vote to impeach former U.S. President Donald Trump will face an uphill battle during the California Republican Party convention this weekend.
Valadao, whose 21st Congressional District swung for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, called Trump "a driving force" in the January Capitol riot. In turn, Valadao has faced backlash for his Jan. 13 impeachment vote and been called a "traitor" within certain pockets of his party.
Erik Elness, a Republican delegate from Contra Costa County, attempted to bring a censure resolution against Valadao. Elness said he was "shocked and disgusted" that a California Republican would join in on a flimsy impeachment effort by Democrats against Trump.
Elness, who describes himself as an "average, ordinary, everyday Republican," wants the state party to take a stand against Valadao's actions. But state party spokesman Hector Barajas said censure triggers a full-blown grievance procedure that allows the charged party to respond. That isn't Elness' intent.
"We’re not trying to remove Valadao," he said. "We just want to have people’s voices heard."
The upshot is there is no censure resolution on the agenda because no grievance was filed. Elness said he may persevere and attempt to get a vote on the matter while the entire general assembly is in session.
Many local elected officials declined to comment on the possibility of a censure vote by Valadao's own state party with the exception of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who offered up praise for his fellow House Republican.
"David is a good friend and a strong leader that wakes up every day to fight for the Central Valley. His work in Congress has delivered more water for the Valley, more markets for our farmers, and more freedom to earn a living and raise a family," McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, wrote. "With David in Congress, Republicans are poised to take the House majority in two years and serve as a much-needed check on the radical Biden administration. This administration wants to fundamentally change our country and people like David Valadao are working overtime to stop that. I am proud to stand with David and every Republican fighting for freedom and opportunity."
Other congressional Republicans who voted to convict Trump have faced censure by their own state's parties. All seven Republican senators except Maine Sen. Susan Colllins and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney have been censured. Other Republican House representatives who have been censured include Rep. Liz Cheney, the House Republican conference chair.