Former Asm. Rudy Salas has earned a major endorsement in his rematch bid against Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) for Congress.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–San Francisco) announced that she is endorsing Salas, a major early win for the former Bakersfield Democrat over other Democratic candidates.
The big picture: Salas, who lost to Valadaao by three points last year, is trying once again to oust Valadao in the 22nd Congressional District, which holds a 17-point voter registration advantage for Democrats.
- His path to a direct rematch with Valadao faces a significant roadblock this time around, however. State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Bakersfield) – formerly of Sanger – filed papers a few weeks ago to run for the seat.
- Given Salas’s failure to defeat Valadao last year, Hurtado offers a different choice for Democrats to rally behind as they try to retake the House of Representatives.
- But Pelosi, who still wields significant influence despite no longer holding a leadership post with the House Democrats, sees Salas – not Hurtado – as the Democratic Party’s best change in the 22nd District.
What they’re saying: In a statement announcing her endorsement, Pelosi called Salas a proven champion who is the right candidate for the district.
- “Rudy Salas is a proven champion for women, workers, and delivering for Valley Families, and I’m proud to endorse him,” Pelosi said. “California’s 22nd District is a must-win for Democrats and Rudy is exactly the right candidate to get the job done.”