Salas softens ties with Cox after Fed indictment

In his pursuit to replicate former Rep. TJ Cox’s (D-Fresno) razor-thin feat of ousting Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford), Asm. Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) is quickly distancing himself from the fallen ex-lawmaker amid a 28-count Federal indictment.

A Federal grand jury indicted Cox earlier in August alleging a bevy of financial crimes ranging from wire fraud to money laundering and included a straw donor scheme to fund his successful 2018 Congressional campaign.

Cox, who was arrested by Federal agents on Tuesday morning after the indictment was unsealed by a Fresno-based Federal magistrate, remains in-custody at Fresno County Jail awaiting an initial court appearance.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Salas sought to put increased distance with Cox’s endorsement of his campaign.

Amid announcing that he wouldn’t seek a third match-up with Valadao in 2022, Cox praised Salas on Bakersfield TV.

Salas initially accepted Cox’s backing with warmth.

“It’s an honor to call TJ a friend and supporter,” Salas said. “I know how our communities are better-off as a result of his service.”

Tuesday, Salas issued a terse statement regarding his endorser.

“TJ Cox has disgraced himself.”

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.