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Valadao announces reelection bid

Rep. David Valadao

Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford

Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, has officially announced his intention to run for reelection.

The congressman sent an announcement Wednesday unveiling his campaign for the new district, California's 22nd, which contains most of the area he now represents.

“My commitment to the Central Valley is stronger than ever,” Valadao said in a news release. “I’ll continue to be an independent member of Congress who will stand up to the divisive partisanship in Washington D.C., get things done to grow our local economy and deliver more water for our farmers and communities. I’m excited to earn the vote of old friends as well as new voters across Kern, Kings and Tulare Counties.”

Valadao was first elected to Congress in 2012, winning reelection twice. But he has struggled over the last two elections, losing to Fresno businessman TJ Cox in 2018, and narrowly winning his seat back over Cox in 2020.

The new district, with more of an emphasis on Bakersfield, could pose an additional challenge to Valadao. State Assemblyman Rudy Salas has already announced his intention to challenge the congressman for the seat.

In addition, Valadao’s vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol could have eroded his support within the Republican party.

Still, Valadao projected confidence in his announcement, noting his attempts to secure more water for Central Valley farmers and families, along with his visitation of every community in his district within the first eight months of his current term.

“Congressman Valadao continues to work with Republicans and Democrats to fix America’s broken immigration system,” the announcement read. “We need to protect families and children who have spent their whole lives in this country, while looking out for America’s workers and strengthening our border security. He knows that we can and we must do both.”

California’s primary election is scheduled for June 7, with the general election scheduled for Nov. 8.

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.