Salas, still challenging Valadao, picks up major endorsement

Salas’ rematch against Rep. David Valadao has been a silent affair – until now.

In what is the first news coming out of an otherwise silent campaign, former Asm. Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) has picked up a major labor endorsement in his run for Congress. 

This is the first bit of news to come out of the Salas campaign since he launched his second attempt at ousting Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford). 


The big picture: Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California announced its early endorsements for the 2024 primary, which is slated for next March, including Rudy Salas for the 22nd Congressional District. 

  • SEIU has 700,000 members in California who come from a variety of fields, including healthcare, janitors, social workers, security officers, academics, court workers and public employees. 

The backstory: Salas, who served in the Assembly from 2012-2022 as a Democrat from Bakersfield, ran against Valadao last year but lost by three percentage points and over 3,100 votes in the heavily Democrat 22nd district. 

  • Shortly after losing to Valadao, last December Salas filed paperwork for a rematch in 2024. 
  • But any sort of campaign eight months out of the primary has been nonexistent up until SEIU announced its early endorsements. 

What they’re saying: SEIU California President David Huerta said the union goes “all in” when it endorses a candidate, devoting its energy, resources and time to the candidate. 

  • “We make early endorsements only of candidates whose public service demonstrates a rock solid commitment to empowering workers and fighting for justice,” Huerta said.
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