The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is giving all of its support to just one of the candidates trying to oust Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) from Congress.
Politico reported that the DCCC will begin running coordinated ads with former Asm. Rudy Salas in Bakersfield as the Democrat tries once again to get elected to the 22nd Congressional District.
The big picture: The DCCC backing Salas means House Democrats see the former Assemblyman as the more appealing candidate over State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Bakersfield).
- While Salas failed to beat out Valadao in 2022 – losing by 3,000 votes in a district where Democrats hold a major edge in voter registration – backing both candidates could mean a Democrat-free ballot in November thanks to California’s top-two primary system.
- That’s in large part due to the presence of former Fresno City Councilman Chris Mathys – who nearly knocked off Valadao in the 2022 primary and is challenging him from the right.
- While Salas placed in first in the 2022 primary, 55 percent of the vote was split between Valadao, Mathys and Adam Medeiros.
- With two Democrats in the race this time, the DCCC fears that Valadao and Mathys could beat them both out in the primary and prevent Democrats from being on the November ballot.
What they’re saying: “The DCCC will do whatever it takes to ensure that MAGA enabler David Valadao is ousted from Congress this November, and Rudy Salas – who came within just over 3,000 votes of unseating Valadao in 2022 – is the best candidate to get the job done,” spokesperson Dan Gottlieb said in a statement to Politico.