David Valadao could be Porterville’s next congressman, but he walks into what should be a crowded field and still faces an uphill battle.
On Wednesday, Valadao announced that he would run for election in the new 22n/a Congressional District. Porterville will be part of the 22n/a district, effectively beginning with the June 7 primary election following the recently completed redistricting process.
Kevin McCarthy currently represents Porterville in the 23rd piece. But that will change with the next election as McCarthy will run to stay in Congress to represent the 20and district, which will include Springville and the Sequoia National Forest region, but not Porterville.
The process regarding the election to the 22n/a the neighborhood will be complicated. A special election will first be held to find a temporary replacement for the remainder of the year at the 22n/a district vacated by Devin Nunes, who resigned. The primary election for this race will be held on April 5 and Porterville residents will not vote in this election.
The election of the current 22n/a district will be held in the June 7 primary election concurrent with the June 7 primary election for the new 22n/a piece. Porterville voters will not vote in the election for the current 22n/a district but will vote in the primary for the new 22n/a piece.
Valadao, R-Hanford, currently represents 21st district, which leaned more Democratic. But the new 22n/a district will lean even more Democratic. President Biden reportedly wore the new 22n/a district of 13 points.
But Valadao was able to win in the 21st district in 2020 despite that district going for Biden by 11 points. And the new 22n/a district is classified as a draw.
Valadao was first elected to Congress in 2012, then lost his seat in 2018 to TJ Cox in a hotly contested election. He regained the seat in 2020 when he defeated Cox in another closely contested election by 1,522 votes.
Cox said he won’t run for Congress, but endorsed State Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a Democrat from Bakersfield, who will likely be one of Valadao’s toughest challengers.
Valadao is also expected to receive a tough Republican challenge, possibly including Fresno Republican Chris Mathys, who criticized Valdao’s vote to impeach President Donald Trump.
“My commitment to the Central Valley is stronger than ever,” Valadao said when announcing his candidacy for the 22n/a piece. “I will continue to be an independent member of Congress who will stand up to the divisive partisanship in Washington DC, advance our local economy, and provide more water for our farmers and communities. I am thrilled to win the vote of old friends as well as new voters in Kern, Kings and Tulare counties.