Home Local NewsLocal NewsFresno Democratic challenger in House District 22 raises $1.3 million

Democratic challenger in House District 22 raises $1.3 million

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Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, left, with challenger Rudy Salas, a former Assemblymember from Bakersfield.

Rudy Salas – a Democratic former Assemblyman from Bakersfield who is running to unseat Republican Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford – raised more than $1.3 million from more than 18,000 individuals in first three months of 2024.

“I’m truly thankful to have so many people believe in and donate to our campaign.” said Salas in a statement announcing the fundraising haul.

Valadao and Salas are in a rematch of their 2022 race. Salas came within a 3% margin of Valadao in the November 2022 congressional election.

In the primary, Valadao received 32.7% while Salas got 31.3.6%, according to unofficial state election results. The state will certify the results by April 12.

Valadao and Salas advanced from the March 5 primary election that also included Republican Chris Mathys, a rancher and businessman; and state Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Bakersfield, in the left-leaning district.

The national Democrats threw their weight behind Salas for the primary instead of Hurtado.

“People need a champion who will put the Central Valley first, just as I have always done,” said Salas, who was born and raised in the Central Valley.

The California’s 22nd Congressional District, a Latino-majority voting district, includes most of Kings County and parts of Kern and Tulare counties.

The 47-year-old Salas, who served five terms in the state Assembly, is trying to become the Valley’s first Latino elected to Congress.

According to campaign manager Kyle J. Buda, Salas now heads into the general election season with more than $750,000 cash on hand, which is more than double what Salas had at the same point in the 2022 cycle.

“Our fundraising strength puts us in a position to reach voters with our message throughout the district,” said Buda.

The 46-year-old Valadao, who has represented the area in Congress for the better part of a decade, raised $1.3 million from Jan. 1 through Feb. 14, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Candidates have until April 15 to report their fundraising through March 31.

“I’m once again humbled to receive the support of so many voters across the Central Valley,” Valadao said in a statement sent to The Bee after the primary was called by the AP. “I’ll continue working hard to earn your support again in November.”

Valadao’s campaign couldn’t be reached for comment regarding the money raised by Salas during the first quarter.

The 22nd Congressional District is one of several toss-ups for the House in California. A rematch between Rep. John Duarte, R-Modesto, and former Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, is taking place in the 13th congressional seat.

Duarte won by 564 votes in 2022.

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