Fearing November lockout, DCCC boosts one Dem for California seat


To avoid what could be a publicly embarrassing faceplant, DCCC is throwing its weight behind Salas, a former state legislator who came within spitting distance of the seat in 2022.

“The DCCC will do whatever it takes to ensure that MAGA enabler David Valadao is ousted from Congress this November, and Rudy Salas — who came within just over 3,000 votes of unseating Valadao in 2022 — is the best candidate to get the job done,” spokesperson Dan Gottlieb said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Hurtado declined to comment. Salas’ campaign deferred to the DCCC.

The full extent of the ad buy was not immediately available, but AdImpact tracked $56,000 in spending as of late Monday morning. Valadao’s campaign declined to comment.

California’s 22nd Congressional District is one of the key targets for Democrats looking to win back the House, and Valadao is facing vulnerabilities on both sides. The district leans Democratic, and went for President Joe Biden by a margin of 13 points in 2020. Valadao, despite a spirited challenge from the left, has managed to hang on to the seat by walking a moderate line on issues like immigration and the economy.

Trump could jeopardize that this year. While Democrats are painting Valadao as a “MAGA enabler,” critics on the right are knocking him for not supporting the former president enough.

Republicans in the district have historically made up the majority of primary voters, and the former president’s presence on the ballot could push that number even higher. Mathys, an ardent Trump supporter who has repeatedly dinged Valadao for his impeachment vote, could capture many of those voters and put the incumbent on the defensive.

It appears Valadao is already feeling the pressure from the right.

American Action Network, a Washington-based nonprofit conservative group that focuses on policy, recently cut a
30-second ad
casting Valadao as a leader in the effort to “end catch and release, force illegal immigrants to remain in Mexico and build the wall.”


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