One 10-minute news conference, three major endorsements. That’s what Congressman David Valadao got on Tuesday in Downtown Fresno.
Officials from the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gathered at the Fresno Chamber’s headquarters to publicly back Valadao for a fourth term in the House of Representatives.
Valadao, a Republican, is running for reelection against Democrat T.J. Cox. The 21st Congressional District stretches from the Dos Palos area in the north to the Bakersfield area in the south. It covers the Valley’s west side and includes Hanford. Valadao is a Hanford High School graduate.
I’ll let the key players speak for themselves.
Nathan Ahle, the Fresno Chamber’s president/chief executive:
“David has been a champion for our Valley, being a bipartisan and leading voice for many important issues around the Central Valley like water, ag, dairy, energy. He’s really done a phenomenal job with reaching across the aisle in order to help get results for his constituents and all of us here in Fresno County and throughout the Central Valley. David has really done a phenomenal job. We are pleased to endorse him once again.”
Nick Ortiz, the Bakersfield Chamber’s president/chief executive, said folks will be seeing more of both chambers working together
“trying to advance the priorities of the Valley. That is what David Valadao has done in the Assembly and as a Congressman. He is somebody who has shunned partisanship and has worked to try find solutions for our Valley. As Nathan said: Energy, water, immigration, agricultural issues, air quality – David is a leader. His ability to put his district first has shown that he deserves another term. We’re very, very happy to endorse him again whole-heartedly. We look forward to working with him in the next Congress.”
Jennings Imel, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Western Region executive director:
“At the U.S. Chamber we appreciate the partnership that we have with the Fresno Chamber and the Bakersfield Chamber. Obviously, so many of the things that we do in Washington, D.C. we wouldn’t be able to do without your support.”
When U.S. Chamber looks to endorse someone for Congress,
“we look for folks that are willing to defend the free enterprise system, that believe in the free enterprise system, candidates that have the courage to govern, men and women that are willing to work across aisles to get things done, to search for bipartisan solutions to some of the most difficult challenges that we face as a nation and as an economy. Congressman Valadao has certainly all of those criteria . He’s been a tremendous leader on so many different issues that are of critical importance to the business community here in the Fresno area and the Bakersfield area and Hanford, and throughout the Central Valley.”
Imel said these issues include immigration, infrastructure in general and water infrastructure in particular, trade, tax and regulatory reform. Valadao, Imel said, “has been a tremendous leader on all these things. So, it’s really no big surprise that Congressman Valadao in his six years in Congress has earned a 95% cumulative score with the U.S. Chamber. It’s one of the highest scores of any sitting member of the House of Representatives…. Congressman Valadao, we certainly appreciate your leadership on so many of these issues.”
Imel noted that Valadao had the courage to spur his party to find solutions to the challenging issues of DACA/Dreamers and border security. Imel said Valadao voted to make President Trump’s tax cuts permanent. Imel said the average family of four in the 21st District is expected to receive about a $1,500 benefit from the tax bill.
The regulatory state is another hot-button issue in Washington, D.C. and the Valley.
“Regulatory overreach – Valadao has been a champion on making sure that regulations coming from Washington, D.C. aren’t hurting businesses here in the Central Valley. On trade issues, he understands the importance of opening export markets for exporters here in the Central Valley…. We are very happy from the U.S. Chamber to give you our endorsement.”
Valadao spoke last.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for a lot of the work we’ve done over the last few years,”
the Congressman said.
“We’ve taken on a lot of fights and I’m very proud of my record. I’ve taken on my own leadership, like was mentioned, on immigration. That’s very, very important to the Central Valley.
“Working with the business community – we’ve got to make sure we make that connection (and) make sure that businesses are successful in the Central Valley. (That) helps create jobs. We’ve struggled with one of the toughest unemployment numbers in the nation, but those numbers have improved a lot in my time in Congress. I’m very proud to have been a part of that. I think that we’ve had a huge impact on that.
“I think the tax bill was something that was beneficial to the Central Valley. It had an impact for every single taxpayer in the district; 83% of the people in the district are standard filers. We literally doubled the tax break for hard-working Americans all throughout the 21 Congressional District. I think it was a no-brainer.
“As far as regulations in general – allowing our businesses to be successful is very, very important. If you expect our businesses to compete, not just on the national stage but the international stage, we have to make sure that they have a level playing field. We’re making sure that we can do that. It’s part of what we’ve worked on in Washington.
“So, I’m very proud to have this endorsement and I’m looking forward to a couple of more years of working hard for the people of the 21st.”