BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Last week, David Valadao (R-Hanford) announced he will seek re-election to Congress in the newly drawn 22nd District, which after redistricting, could present a very challenging race.
But, Valadao is no stranger to challenging races, and he hasn’t been one to back away from the contest.
In 2018, after losing the seat he held for three terms to a Democrat, the Hanford Republican ran for it again in 2020. And he won — in a year that saw the district vote for Joe Biden by a margin of 11%.
“It’s the district that my home is in,” Valadao told 17 News on Friday. “I think it is really important to run in a district that you actually live in.”
It may not come as a surprise that after redistricting saw his boundaries go bluer, his reason for running in the region again this year remains the same.
“[It’s] the fact that I live in this and am a part of this and have a lot in common with people throughout the valley,” he said.
Valadao said it’s his focus on issues such as law enforcement, water, trade and schools, as well as the historical advantage in midterm elections for the party not occupying the White House, that he believes can keep him on Capitol Hill.
“This is supposed to be a better Republican year, so I have the wind at my back for that, but it is a bluer district,” he said. “I think it’s important to make sure that the people here in the Central Valley know I’ve always been a guy who works across the aisle.”
And when it comes to his choices this past year in Washington, particularly the second impeachment trial of the former president, Valadao doesn’t have regrets.
“If people are making decisions based off of one vote when they can look back on a career of me doing the best for the constituents, that’s a decision they have to make for themselves and what’s best for themselves,” Valadao said. “Every decision I’ve taken I feel like I can defend.”
It’s still early, but this is a district in which candidates across the political spectrum are hoping they can win. Democrat Rudy Salas and conservative Republican Chris Mathys have both already declared for this race as well.