California Assemblyman Rudy Salas is the presumptive Democratic nominee for Congress in CA-22. A lifelong resident of the Central Valley, Rudy worked in the fields with his father before going to college at UCLA. Prior to serving in the Assembly, his passion for public service and good governance led him to spend time working at the White House, in the California State Capitol as a legislative staffer, and ultimately back to the Central Valley where he served as the first Latino City Council member in Bakersfield.
Rudy has been elected to the California Assembly five times, winning each victory by an increasingly larger margin. In 2020, he won with 60% of the vote. As an assemblyman, he has always taken a stand for Central Valley families and delivered for the region. He fought for more public safety funding; expansion of workforce development programs; increased veterans’ and workers' rights; clean water infrastructure; and support for the Central Valley’s small business community. In 2021, Rudy secured $50 million of dedicated investments for projects that will develop local nursing programs, and construct an emergency response center, a cooling center, a clean water well, and a new building at Bakersfield College, Delano campus. Rudy also secured millions for local students and colleges, and helped save Kern Medical Hospital from closing its doors. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rudy ensured that small businesses in his district got assistance, and that residents and frontline workers received the protective equipment they needed.
Rudy has been named “Legislator of the Year” by California 9-1-1 Emergency Dispatchers, California Police Chiefs Association, the American GI Forum of California, the California Issues
Forum, the California Latino Capitol Association Foundation, and the Foundation for Independent Living Centers.
In Congress, Rudy promises to be a champion for working families in the Central Valley. In its endorsement of Rudy, the United Farm Workers said: ‘There’s no candidate better suited to deliver for working families and ensure they have access to wages and jobs that support families …” In her endorsement of Rudy, Congresswoman Linda Sánchez said, “Rudy will fight to raise wages, lower taxes for working families, and fight to reduce the costs of prescription drugs and healthcare.” Rudy would continue to advocate for legislation protecting children. “My priority is to help ensure that our children are being cared for and protected from harm,” he said.
Rudy’s opponent is incumbent Republican David Valadao, who voted in support of President Trump’s position 97% of the time. Valadao failed to join Democrats and 11 House Republicans when they voted in 2021 to remove far-right Congresswoman and conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments – after Greene had indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians (suggesting “a bullet to the head” of Nancy Pelosi); suggested that some school shootings had been staged; mocked a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre; and questioned whether there was any evidence that a plane had hit the Pentagon on 9/11. After a lawsuit in 2019, Valadao agreed to pay $325,000 to former employees who sued for being denied breaks, minimum wage, and overtime pay. However, the settlement was not paid due to Valadao and Triple V Dairy filing for bankruptcy.
A spokeswoman from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has said: “From taking money from politicians who want to throw out election results, to his dangerous attacks on Social Security and Medicare, it is clear David Valadao has abandoned the Central Valley for his party’s extremism.” Valadao voted to gut the Affordable Care Act and disavowed abortion access. He voted against the creation of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, describing it as a “witch hunt”.
Valadao gets a rating of 0% from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro Choice; a rating of 11% from the League of Conservation Voters; and a 92% rating from the NRA.
The newly redrawn 22nd Congressional District skews more Democratic than CA-21, Valadao's current district. Roll Call reports “... Biden would have carried the new 22nd District by 13 points, 55 percent to 42 percent. In 2020, … Valadao prevailed by just 1,522 votes [in CA-21].”
With a strong candidate like Rudy Salas, Democrats have an opportunity to flip this district. But this is expected to be one of the closest races in the country, so Rudy needs our early support to accomplish this important goal.