Earlier this week anti-Israel protesters vandalized Rep. David Valadao’s (R–Hanford) office in Hanford.
Yet his two Democratic challengers, former Asm. Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) and State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Bakersfield) have not condemned the vandalism nor have they made their stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict public.
Driving the news: The Sun reached out to the campaigns of Salas and Hurtado seeking comments on the vandalism but did not receive a response by publication.
- Congress has already sent $14.3 billion in aid to Israel following the attacks on Oct. 7, and the White House and lawmakers are currently negotiating further aid.
- Calls for a cease-fire in the conflict have split the Democratic party, begging the question of where local Congressional candidates stand.
- But Salas and Hurtado have not spoken up about the vandalism Valadao has faced.
- Salas did post on X on Oct. 9 saying he stands with Israel, but there hasn’t been any further discussion since.
What they’re saying: National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesperson Ben Petersen called on Salas and Hurtado to condemn the vandalism as well as the protests that took over the California Democratic Party Convention a couple weeks ago.
- “Rudy Salas and Melissa Hurtado claim they want to represent the Central Valley, yet they cannot even condemn the anti-Israel extremists who perpetrated these attacks,” Petersen said. “Salas and Hurtado’s silence shows just how far out of the mainstream they both are.”
- The Kings County Democratic Party released a statement condemning the vandalism, saying peaceful demonstrations are essential tools for expressing disagreement.
- “As active members of the community, we reiterate our dedication to advocating for constructive dialogue, fostering understanding, and promoting peaceful means of conflict resolution,” the party said. “We urge individuals to engage in respectful discourse and uphold the principles of civil disagreement in addressing complex and sensitive geopolitical issues.”