After more than $30 million was spent bombarding south Valley voters, it appears former Asm. Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) isn’t quite done in his quest to oust Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) and capture a deeply Democratic Congressional seat.
Salas, a top recruit of House Democrats, stumbled on Nov. 8 in a critical election underlying Democrats’ roadmap to hanging on to control of the House of Representatives.
Following a few weeks of ballot counting, Valadao emerged victorious over the five-term Democratic lawmaker despite fighting over a newly-drawn district that was more deeply Democratic than Valadao’s expiring 21st Congressional District.
Vote totals in the 2022 contest were solidified on Nov. 21, with updates in Kern County putting a long-shot victory mathematically out of reach for Salas.
Two weeks later, Salas filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission to launch a rematch bid in 2024:
🚨JUST IN: Democrat Rudy Salas, fresh off his 3%, 3,127-vote loss to incumbent Republican David Valadao in the Biden +13 #CA22, files FEC candidacy paperwork for a rematch in 2024. https://t.co/8XVaWtGgxv pic.twitter.com/10I8drbnJ8— Rob Pyers (@rpyers) December 7, 2022
It’s not the first time a Valadao opponent has quickly turned around to seek a rematch. Shortly after defeat in 2016, labor lawyer Emilio Huerta filed to run against Valadao in 2018. He later bowed out to clear a path for TJ Cox (D–Fresno).
Cox, who narrowly defeated Valadao in 2018, was ousted in 2020 amid a cacophony of personal scandals. He, too, filed to run for a 2022 bid before abandoning the effort.