Tight congressional races in the Central Valley played a big part in flipping control of the U.S. House to Republicans last year. In 2024, those districts could prove pivotal again — and rematches from 2022 could determine the outcome.
Wednesday, Democrat Adam Gray announced that he’ll again take on Republican Rep. John Duarte, who won by 564 votes last November in the 13th District.
Besides bashing Duarte, Gray, a former state Assemblymember, pledges to put the Valley above party politics.
- Gray, in a video: “I know what independence looks like, and I know that party loyalists are bad for the Valley.”
That follows Democrat Rudy Salas declaring he’ll try again to defeat Republican Rep. David Valadao, who prevailed by 3,132 votes in the 22nd District. Democratic state Sen. Melissa Hurtado has also filed to run in that race.
Those victories helped the GOP narrow the gap in California’s U.S. House delegation to 40-12, from a 42-11 Democratic edge before last year’s election. And the Republican inroads made Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco hand the speaker’s gavel to Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield.
Political pundits and elected officials are already predicting that California voters could decide whether Democrats retake control of the House. And those competitive districts are not just in the Valley, but also in Orange County (where Democrat Katie Porter is giving up her seat to run for U.S. Senate) and elsewhere.
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About the Author
Lynn La is the WhatMatters newsletter writer. Prior to joining CalMatters, she developed thought leadership at an ed-tech company and was a senior editor at CNET. She also covered public health at The Sacramento Bee as a Kaiser media fellow and was an intern reporter at Capitol Weekly. She’s a graduate of UC Davis and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
CalMatters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom committed to explaining California policy and politics.