Race between Valadao, Salas heats up as former Vice President Mike Pence visits Valley

Political Analyst Mark Keppler says the competitive race between Valadao and Salas will come down to just a few key issues.

Alyssa Flores Image
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Race between Valadao, Salas heats up as former VP Pence visits Valley
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Republican Congressman David Valadao and Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Salas are fighting to the finish for the new 22nd District seat.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Former Vice President Mike Pence visited the Valley Monday, supporting Representative David Valadao in the campaign to keep his congressional seat.

Supporters of Former President Trump could be an area where Political Analyst Mark Keppler says Valadao needs a boost.

"Valadao might have a problem with his MAGA base because he voted for impeachment and he needs to get those folks to turn out and vote," he said.

We asked the representative if he felt a visit from the former VP would help him with Republicans who didn't approve of his impeachment vote.

"If they choose to hold a grudge over one decision when they have 1,000 other reasons to support me, I just don't envision them holding on until November 8," Valadao said.

Pence says Valley issues are personal to his family. His daughter and son-in-law are stationed at NAS Lemoore.

"I took his pick-up truck to the gas station this summer and filled it up like fathers-in-law are supposed to do, and it just about broke the bank," Pence said.

Keppler says the competitive race between Valadao and Assemblyman Rudy Salas will come down to just a few key issues.

"The economy and inflation, housing and the homeless, and water," he said. "I would argue you might want to flip that order and in the Valley, water is the number-one issue."

Salas is touting his voting record in Sacramento to improve water and expand access to water.

"Been here and replaced water wells, created safe drinking water," he said.

and his record on health-related costs...

Keppler says while Valadao has an incumbent edge, because of new census stats, this is not the same district that elected him two years ago.

"It's actually slightly more Hispanic and slightly higher Democratic registration than it was in 2020," he said.

Keppler says Pence's visit likely did give Valadao a strong financial boost with donors.

Still, he says it's expected to be a tight race.