Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) defeated his Democratic challenger, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, in the race to represent California’s 22nd Congressional District, one of the most heated and expensive House battles in the country.
Valadao, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump, managed to prevail in the race two weeks after Election Day despite the newly redrawn Central Valley district having favored President Joe Biden by 13 points in 2020.
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The 45-year-old dairy farmer, who first came to Congress in 2013, was defeated in a blue wave in 2018 by former Rep. TJ Cox (D-CA) before winning the seat again in 2020.
Valadao repeatedly hit Assemblyman Rudy Salas on inflation and the economy, while Salas went after the California Republican for his stance on abortion.
The Democratic PAC Voter Protection Project, in an attempt to tamp down Republican voter turnout, used his impeachment vote and record on immigration to paint the centrist GOP lawmaker as “a traitor who turned his back on President Trump to serve his own interests” and sent out mailers attacking him for standing with “the radical Democrats’ immigration bill” by backing Dreamers.
Each party’s committees and super PACs spent more than $10 million in support of their respective candidates.