Republicans in Congress from the Central Valley are used to being Democratic targets. Hillary Clinton in 2016 won both of the districts that are considered pickup opportunities in the Democrats’ quest to retake control of the U.S. House.
Here’s a quick look at the candidates who will appear on the June 5 primary ballot in the 10th and 21st congressional districts, and the designations that will be listed after their names.
Rep. Jeff Denham has drawn a slew of well-funded challengers. Prior to entering Congress, the Republican owned an agricultural packaging company and almond orchard. Denham voted for the GOP tax plan and to repeal the Affordable Care Act but has pushed his party repeatedly to complete an overhaul of federal immigration policy.
The Turlock Republican was first elected in 2010 and won reelection in 2016 with 51.7% of the vote. That year, Clinton narrowly won the district with 47.4% of the vote.
The 10th district includes all of Stanislaus County and the southern third of San Joaquin County, as well as Modesto, Tracy and Turlock. It is dependent on agriculture and is among the poorest areas of the state.
Rep. David Valadao has drawn just a single opponent as he seeks a fourth term. A longtime dairy farmer, the Hanford Republican served in the Assembly prior to entering Congress, where he has focused on bringing water to his agricultural district.
He has been a reliably conservative vote in Congress, supporting the tax bill overhaul and repealing the Affordable Care Act, but he has broken with party leaders on immigration policy. He has advocated for a legislative fix to address the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children.
Valadao was first elected in 2012 and won reelection in 2016 by a 13% margin in the district, which includes parts of Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties.
Valadao, Republican, designation not released
TJ Cox, Democrat, “Engineer/Small Businessman”
Cox founded Central Valley NMTC Fund, an organization that invests millions in public and private funds in economically disadvantaged Central Valley communities.
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