Republican Valadao and Democrat Salas advance in California's competitive 22nd district

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Republican U.S. Rep. David Valadao and Democrat Rudy Salas will face each other in November in California’s 22nd congressional district, a rematch of last cycle’s close contest.

The district runs through California’s Central Valley farm belt, including parts of Bakersfield. It’s considered one of the most competitive U.S. House districts in the state, where a handful of tight races may be key to determining which party controls the chamber.

In 2022, Valadao beat Salas by less than 4,000 votes.

Democrats hold a 16−point advantage over Republicans in registered voters. But Valadao held the seat from 2013 until 2019, lost it for one term and then retook it in 2020. The borders of the district have changed slightly since Valadao was first elected due to redistricting.

Valadao and Salas beat out Republican Chris Mathys and Democrat Melissa Hurtado in the primary. California puts all candidates, regardless of party, on one primary ballot and the two candidates who get the most votes advance to the general election.

The Associated Press

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