Your guide to the California Congressional District 22 race: Rep. David Valadao vs. Rudy Salas
Rep. David Valadao is running for Congress in California’s 22nd Congressional District. Here is his take on the challenges facing a district like his that used to be dominated by Republicans, but is now almost entirely Democratic.
What did you think of last month’s primary?
I think the results show the kind of frustration that we’re dealing with.
I think what people saw was a district that they wanted to get behind a common opponent but they just couldn’t because we couldn’t find our one candidate, and they couldn’t support the other candidate.
So they chose the common ground of the Republicans, which is why they’re not voting for the Democrat. They know Democrats don’t stand in our way. We don’t have a problem with the Democrats, they have a problem with us.
So if we were the Democrats, this is the district that would be the most difficult to run. We would have a tough time being competitive at all.
And so I think, if we were the Democrats, our best chance would be to have an independent candidate run. And if we had an independent candidate who could win voters over, then we could be competitive.
It’s really about how we define ourselves and how much we stand in line with the voters.
Did the district change with the result of the primary?
The voters are very comfortable with the Democrats. They’re comfortable with what we’ve done in the last six years, and they know we’re all in line with them.
The Democrats have put out a list of demands and things that needed to happen to get back into the majority, and the voters have been pretty good, in terms of their support and their approval, and I think that’s what will probably make up the difference.
You were out there in some of the towns that were considered conservative strongholds, like Chico, and you were also out in La Habra, which is in the heart of the Central Valley. How do you get an understanding of how Californians feel?
Part of my job as a legislator is to make sure that the voters’ voice is heard and that people understand what the issues are and what the differences are, and I can tell you that the people of our district are very comfortable with Democrats in Congress. And they’re very comfortable that