After long wait, Salas kicks off 2024 rematch bid against Valadao

The former Bakersfield Assemblyman lost in 2022 despite holding a significant Democratic voter registration advantage.

After months of radio silence from when he initially filed the paperwork to run for Congress, former California Asm. Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) announced Tuesday that he will try a second time to unseat Rep. David Valadao (R–Bakersfield). 

With Salas officially entering the campaign, the 2024 general election is shaping up to be a rematch in Congressional District 22. 


The backstory: Salas tried his hand at challenging Valadao last year but lost by over 3,100 votes, being defeated by a 51.5-48.5 margin. 

  • Valadao’s victory came in spite of District 22 holding a 17-point advantage for Democrats. 
  • Salas served in the Assembly from 2012-2022, foregoing a chance at one final term in office to instead run for Congress last year. 

Driving the news: Fresh off his loss last year, Salas filed paperwork to run against Valadao last December. But outside of receiving an early endorsement from Service Employees International Union last month, Salas had been publicly silent about his 2024 campaign. 

  • Salas broke that silence on Tuesday with his campaign launch, releasing a video attacking not only Valadao, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield). 

What they’re saying: In his campaign video, Salas said McCarthy is a “Trump lackey” who is pulling the strings for Valadao by funneling millions of dollars to his campaign. 

  • “My time in service has been dedicated to fighting for the people who grow our food, produce our gas, teach our children, and care for our seniors,” Salas said in a statement. “In the Assembly, I won overtime for farm workers, lowered the cost of medicine, and made drinking water safer. I was the only Assembly Democrat to vote against the gas tax and I stood up against leaders in my own party to increase funding for law enforcement and protect oil and gas jobs.”
  • In response to the campaign launch, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Ben Petersen took a shot at Salas for lying about his age on dating apps.
  • “Central Valley voters swiped left on Rudy Salas after he sold them out to Sacramento special interests,” Petersen said. “Rudy Salas remains the same self-serving politician that drove up inflation, raised the gas tax, voted for a medicine tax and attacked the Valley’s way of life —only now Salas is even more desperate for a taxpayer salary.”
Related Posts