California State Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D) and U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R) are running in the general election for California’s 22nd Congressional District on November 8, 2022. Heading into the election, the incumbent is Republican Connie Conway, who was first elected in a special election on June 7, 2022, to replace Devin Nunes. Conway chose not to run for a full term.
The Bakersfield Californian’s Sam Morgan has written, “Salas and Valadao have positioned themselves as independent-minded politicians in an effort to appeal to undecided and centrist voters.”
Salas is a member of the California State Assembly, a position to which he was first elected in 2011. Salas has run on his record in the Assembly, saying, “I’ve proven over the last decade that I’ve been able to deliver for Central Valley families. Whether that’s direct funding in million of dollars to expand nursing programs, bring new buildings, public safety, clean drinking water. There is a big difference between me and my opponents: I’ve been able to deliver on these things.” Salas has said he was the only Democrat to vote in 2017 against increasing the gasoline tax, saying, “I’m always going to do what I feel is right for Central Valley families, whether that a Democratic idea, a Republican idea, an independent idea.”
Valadao is a member of the U.S. House, representing the 21st Congressional District. Valadao represented the 21st Congressional District from 2013 to 2019. He lost in the 2018 general election but ran for his old seat in 2020 and won. Valadao said, “I’ll continue to be an independent member of Congress who will stand up to the divisive partisanship in Washington D.C., get things done to grow our local economy, and deliver more water for our farmers and communities.” Valadao has campaigned on protecting the Central Valley’s water supply and agricultural industry and ensuring veterans have “access to high quality healthcare, or education and employment opportunities here at home.” Valadao was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump (R) for incitement of insurrection following the Jan. 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol.
California’s 22nd Congressional District boundaries changed following redistricting. According to Roll Call’s Kate Ackley, about 55% of the 22nd District’s population comes from the old 21st District, the district to which Valadao was elected in 2020.