Just months after losing the majority in the House of Representatives, the Democratic Party is, once again, targeting two Central Valley districts which figure to play a key role in the 2024 election.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Monday that it will play heavily in the 13th and 22nd Congressional District, which are represented by Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto) and David Valadao (R–Hanford), respectively.
The backstory: Last year’s redistricting gave Democrats a wider-than-ever advantage in Valadao’s 22nd district and drew a Democrat-friendly seat in the open 13th district, yet Republicans overcame the odds in both Central Valley regions.
- Valadao successfully fended off former Democratic Asm. Rudy Salas by 3.4 points, while Duarte’s victory over former Democratic Asm. Adam Gray was a razor-thin 0.4-point margin, amounting to 565 votes.
The big picture: DCCC Chair Rep. Suzan DelBene (D–Washington) announced the House Democrats’ Districts in Play list for 2024.
- The list includes 31 Republican-held districts which the DCCC considers to be vulnerable, as well as two open seats that Democrats expect to be competitive in.
- The DCCC is targeting eight districts in California to flip to blue, and outside of Duarte and Valadao, the DCCC is looking to oust Kevin Kiley (R–Rocklin), Mike Garcia (R–Santa Clarita), Young Kim (R–Anaheim), Ken Clavert (R–Corona) and Michelle Steel (R–Cypress).
- Democrats are also looking to retain the 47th district, which is currently held by Senate candidate Katie Porter (D–Irvine).
What they’re saying: As part of the announcement, DelBene attacked the list of Republicans for working with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield).
- “The vulnerable Republicans represented on this list have worked hand in hand with Speaker McCarthy to enable the most dangerous wings of their party to threaten our jobs, roll back women’s freedoms, endanger Americans’ economic security, and prioritize politics over people,” DelBene said.
- “The DCCC is prepared to recruit exciting and battle-ready candidates in these key districts and ensure voters see the clear contrast between Democrats’ track record of delivering for the middle class, and Republicans’ radical agenda that puts Americans’ pocketbooks, communities, and livelihoods at risk.”
- National Republican Congressional Committee Communications Director Jack Pandol is skeptical at the DCCC’s chances of swaying voters.
- “Extreme House Democrats lost the majority because they hammered families with crime, chaos and skyrocketing costs,” Pandol said. “Why would voters change their minds after Democrats spent their time in the minority coddling violent criminals and opposing relief?”