Bains bucks predecessor Salas, endorses Melissa Hurtado for Congress

The two Democrats based out of Bakersfield are sticking together as Hurtado tries to beat out David Valadao and Rudy Salas for Congress.

State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Bakersfield) has picked up an endorsement from a colleague in the California Legislature in her run for Congress. 

Hurtado’s campaign announced the support of Asm. Jasmeet Bains (D–Bakersfield) on Friday. 


The big picture: Bains represents the 35th Assembly District, which significantly overlaps with Hurtado’s 16th Senate District centered on Bakersfield and the southern part of the Central Valley. 

  • Hurtado is trying to oust Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) in Congressional District 22. 
  • Bains’s endorsement of Hurtado is significant because in order to beat Valadao, Hurtado will likely have to beat out former Democrat Assemblyman Rudy Salas in the primary. 
  • Salas launched his campaign earlier this year to rematch Valadao, who he lost to last year by a 51.5-48.5 percent margin despite Democrats holding a 17-point advantage in the district. 
  • Hurtado was first elected to the California Senate in 2018 and won reelection last year, beating Porterville Republican David Shepard by 13 votes. 

What they’re saying: Bains, who is serving her first term in office and is a family doctor, focused her endorsement of Hurtado on healthcare. 

  • “Senator Hurtado is a fierce advocate for the Valley championing access to quality healthcare,” Bains said in a statement. “I know that with Melissa representing us in Congress, we will have a champion on the national stage who will put the Central Valley first. I’m proud to endorse her for Congress.” 
  • Hurtado said, “It is an honor to have the support of my friend and Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains in my campaign for Congress. I am proud to have worked closely with Dr. Bains in passing policies and programs to address the fentanyl crisis and ensure all of our Valley’s families can live in safe, thriving communities. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Dr. Bains to deliver even more for our region.”
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