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Rep. Valadao Rakes in Money and Another Opponent



Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) raises $1.7 million for his election campaign and attracts a new (old) challenger in Chris Mathys. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Congressman David Valadao picked up lots of money, and a new (old) opponent to his right.

The Hanford Republican, running for his third consecutive term and sixth overall, raised $438,000 for the second quarter in 2023, and $1.7 million in this election cycle.

Meanwhile, conservative Chris Mathys — a former Fresno city councilman now living in Firebaugh — announced he is challenging Valadao again in 2024. Mathys also ran in 2022, finishing third in a four-person race in the primary.

Bakersfield Democrat Rudy Salas — a former Assemblyman who also ran in 2022, losing to Valadao in the general election, 51.5%-48.5% — is making another go of it in 2024.

Salas reported raising $213,000 for the quarter for an election total of $250,000. Politico reported he has picked up top-line Democratic endorsements from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, and several other statewide elected leaders.

That could be bad news for another Democrat running, Bakersfield state Sen. Melissa Hurtado. She reported raising only $44,000. Her top endorsement is Bakersfield Assemblywoman Jasmeet Bains.

Mathys reported $500 cash on hand.

Melissa Hurtado (left), Rudy Salas, and Chris Mathys are running against Rep. David Valadao. (GV Wire Composite/David Rodriguez)

FPPC in Town

The state agency in charge of regulating campaign finance will hold a rare hearing in Fresno on Thursday. The Fair Political Practices Commission meets for a regular hearing at 10 a.m. at the Leon Peters Ellipse Gallery on the Fresno State campus.

The agenda includes an update on how to interpret SB 1439, the new anti-pay-to-play law that has caused much confusion; and approving penalties for two candidates (neither from Fresno) who violated campaign finance law.

The meeting is open to the public.

For the Dogs

A new dog park opened at Roeding Park on Tuesday. Mayor Jerry Dyer and Councilman Miguel Arias were among those attending the ribbon cutting.

Arias announced the park will informally be called Puppy Love Park until a city council vote makes it official.

The $762,000 park was paid through Measure P funds.

Fresno City Councilman Miguel Arias and his pal Sluggo attend a ribbon cutting for Puppy Love Park at Roeding Park on Tuesday. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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