Salas, Hurtado trade shots over abortion rights in tussle to take on Valadao

An attack ad airing in Bakersfield targets Hurtado’s voting record on abortion, a hot-button issue for Democrats.

Former Asm. Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) and State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Bakersfield) are sparring over Hurtado’s record on abortion. 

Salas released an advertisement early Tuesday criticizing Hurtado’s record as the duo are both trying to oust Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) from Congress. 


The big picture: In the advertisement, which is airing in Bakersfield, Salas goes after Hurtado for receiving a poor rating from abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice California. 

  • Hurtado received a “D” rating from the organization for not voting nine times on legislation to expand abortion access in 2022. 
  • NARAL Pro-Choice California labeled Hurtado as “hostile to reproductive freedom.” 
  • However, in 2023, Hurtado received an “A-” rating from the organization and was labeled a “reproductive freedom leader. Salas did not include her 2023 rating in the advertisement. 
  • Salas has the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as he tries once again to win in the 22nd district, which he lost to Valadao in 2022 by around 3,000 votes. 

What they’re saying: Hurtado fired back later on Tuesday, saying the attack ads are misleading. 

  • “I have a long record as a reproductive healthcare advocate,” Hurtado said in a statement. “ I started my career as an organizer for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte working to provide access for patients in the Central Valley.  I am a proud co-author of Prop 1 which enshrines the right to an abortion in the state constitution. Planned Parenthood gave me a 100% rating on their 2023 scorecard.  Leave it to a man like Rudy Salas to lie about my record – a woman’s record – on reproductive freedom. He should be ashamed.” 
Related Posts