By The Leader Staff
Rep. David Valadao
Rep. David Valadao

According to a call by the Associated Press, Kings County Congressman David Valadao has managed to hold on to his seat despite earning the wrath of local Republicans following his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Valadao defeated longtime California Assemblyman Rudy Salas in a close vote count that lasted two weeks. “The Central Valley is my home, and I am once again humbled by the Central Valley’s support and faith in me,” he stated in a press release Tuesday morning.

Several of Valadao’s colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives lost their seats or declined to run for another term following their impeachment votes in 2020.

“I will continue reaching across the aisle to find solutions to increase the Valley’s water supply, make energy more affordable, ensure our law enforcement are well funded to keep communities safe, create good paying jobs, and improve our health care system,” he said.

It had been a close race since election day as Kings, Tulare, and Kern counties spent nearly two weeks counting the votes. Valadao, who represented the district from 2013 to 2019, lost his first race to former Rep. T.J. Cox before winning it back in 2020.

Indeed, the race was close. According to the state’s elections website, Valadao earned 51,842 votes (51.7%) to Salas 48,461 (48.3%). Salas narrowly defeated Valadao in Kern County with 52.5 % of the vote but Valadao prevailed in Kings and Tulare counties. Even in Kings County, the vote was close as Valadao tallied 6,662 votes (56.5%) to Salas’ total of 5,120 (43.5%).

AP, with over 98% of vote in, projects win for Rep. Valadao in 22nd District