BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Fresh off a midterm election defeat, former Bakersfield Assemblymember and 22nd Congressional district candidate Rudy Salas has filed paperwork for a 2024 rematch with Republican incumbent David Valadao.

Just two weeks ago, Valadao held on to his seat edging out Salas by about 3% in what was considered one of the most competitive House races in the nation.

On Wednesday, Salas filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission for the Central Valley’s 22nd Congressional district.

Democratic analyst Neel Sannappa says this means Salas is able to keep his FEC fundraising account open and hold on to the money he raised for this year’s congressional bid. According to the FEC, Salas finished the 2022 campaign with nearly $500,000 cash on hand.

Sannappa says the move also allows Salas to continue raising money for the next two years for a potential 2024 run.

In a statement, a Salas spokesperson told 17 News: “Rudy is keeping his options open. For now, he’s enjoying spending time with his family.”

A spokesperson for Valadao said: “Voters want a break from the never-ending politics, and we hope Mr. Salas finds something more useful to fill his time with the next two years.”

Two of Valadao’s former Democratic opponents Emilio Huerta and TJ Cox both filed for rematches with Valadao after losing their elections before later dropping their bids.