21st congressional district candidates

FRESNO, California

Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district 46% to 35%. More than 70% of the voters in the district are Hispanic.

John Hernandez said, "71% Hispanic but I don't think I'll win because I'm Hispanic, I'll win because I have the best ideas."

Hernandez, a Democrat from Fresno, believes his work as president of the Hispanic Chamber of commerce and his experience with the many small cities in the district give him an edge in bringing jobs to the Valley.

"As a chamber executive I've been helping small businesses, helping them get funded, helping these small town mayors," Hernandez said. "Helping the folks in these small towns to get opportunity and bring them the services they need."

David Valadao, a Republican from Hanford, who's in his first term as a member of the State Assembly sees his experience as a dairy owner as an asset; a " job creator." "I think I'm the ideal candidate that's where I come from. I'm a private sector business owner."

Valadao also pledges to fight the endangered species act. "You have to make sure that you put humans above fish."

Blong Xiong believes his six years as a member of the Fresno City Council and twenty years as a community organizer gives him an edge. "I'm not going to be taking this congressional seat as "on the job training" that's especially important in these tough times."

Xiong says one way to insure a stable work force in the valley is by pushing immigration reform. "Comprehensive immigration reform, pathway to citizenship that includes opportunities for us to become citizens, but also the dream act that came through as a piece of that."

On high speed rail Hernandez and Xiong support the project, while Valadao is opposed.

Hernandez says he is the son of a railroad man, and believes high speed rail will bring prosperity, just as the railroads that opened the west. "Where the rail goes, opportunity goes, the same thing is going to happen here."

Xiong also sees High Speed Rail as a benefit: "If it's going to come then we are going to work hard to make sure it gets done. I've been a supporter of it and believing what it brings to the Valley."

Valadao thinks it's poorly thought out and too expensive: "The size of the project, the way it's going to affect our budget in the state of California, it can be an absolute disaster for us."

The top two vote getters among these three in Tuesday's primary will face each other in the general election.

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