BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Former Congressman David Valadao earned the most votes for the 21st Congressional District seat Tuesday.
Valadao had 53.1 percent of the vote with all 352 precincts reporting, ahead of the 36.1 percent received by incumbent T.J. Cox.
“I am honored to have earned the vote of so many voters across the Central Valley,” Valadao said in an emailed statement. “We built a coalition of Democrats, Republicans and No Party Preference voters throughout Fresno, Kern Kings and Tulare counties who are ready to have Congress start working for them again. From water to trade to the economy, everywhere I go voters want politicians to put aside the partisan fights and get to work on the issues that matter. That’s exactly what I plan to do. I look forward to earning the voters’ support again in November.”
Valadao represented the 21st District for three terms until he was defeated by Cox in 2018.
T.J. Cox’s campaign issued a statement Wednesday morning about the results of the Super Tuesday contest reminding voters Valadao won the primary in 2018 too.
“We all know this race will be decided in November,” Cox said in the statement.
“Remember, just two short years ago Mr. Valadao beat me in the primary by 26 points. We went on to victory in the general election by out-working him, by being in the community, listening to the voters’ needs, and promising to make a real difference in their lives.”
Of the two other challengers, Ricardo De La Fuente had 8.3 percent of the vote, and Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente received 2.5 percent.
The 21st District includes Kings County and parts of Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties.
Read Cox’s full statement below:
We all know this race will be decided in November. Remember, just two short years ago Mr. Valadao beat me in the primary by 26 points. We went on to victory in the general election by out-working him, by being in the community, listening to the voters’ needs, and promising to make a real difference in their lives.Rep. T.J. Cox (D – Fresno)
Since our election, we’ve done just that. Just last Friday, the House passed my bill to cut health care costs by making asthma inhalers accessible to families, whether or not they’ve hit their insurance deductible. And last fall, President Trump signed my Family Farmer Relief Act into law. We passed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act to legalize the agricultural workforce and we’re on the way towards fixing the Friant-Kern Canal and getting water to underserved communities in the Valley. I promised results and we delivered.
However, the truth is we’re still in this fight as underdogs. When you’re fighting for working families, you have to battle the big money interests in Washington. While that hasn’t made me close friends with the special interests, it’s meant real progress for the Central Valley.
There have been a number of issues at polling places and with mail ballots across the Central Valley. I sincerely hope our county elections officials can work with our Secretary of State to resolve these issues, especially before the General Election. California voters must be confident their vote counts and their voice matters.
I want to thank my tireless supporters and volunteers who are waging this campaign just as hard as I’m fighting for working Valley families. Thank you to my wife, Kathy, who inspires me every day, and to my kids and the kids of the Central Valley, whose bright futures make this work worth it.
I encourage folks to visit TJCoxforCongress.com to join me in this fight and help the Valley thrive. Thank you.