Your Voice Your Vote: TJ Cox, David Valadao in fierce fight for District 21

The 21st district includes all of Kings County as well as portions of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare Counties.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of the most hotly-contested congressional races in the US might be the battle in the valley's 21st district.

The public has been bombarded by ads for Democrat TJ Cox and Republican David Valadao. Sometimes, they air back to back.

Two years ago, Cox defeated Valadao to win the congressional seat and literally Valadao's office.

The 21st district includes all of Kings County as well as portions of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare Counties.

In a race that saw more than 113,000 votes cast, just 862 votes separated T.J. Cox and David Valadao in 2018.

2020 is just as intense.

"Both have raised millions of dollars and there's a ferocious ad war going on out there," says political analyst Thomas Holyoke.

Both candidates want to clear the air after all the attack ads.

Democrats hold a 16% voter registration edge so Fresno State Political Science Professor Thomas Holyoke says Valadao is trying to position himself as a centrist.

While in office as a three-term representative, Valadao voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

He laid out his priorities.

If he returns to congress, he will focus on...

"Making sure we have a clean, reliable water supply for our communities, for our farmers. It's something that we struggle through no matter what. Common sense business policy, good immigration policy," he says.

Cox counters that he has made progress on water and immigration issues during his first term.

"Passing the Dream and Promise Act. It's bringing water to the Valley, certainly expanding opportunities for education," he says.

But both candidates couldn't resist getting in one last jab.

"It's obvious that we're running against somebody who has been dishonest throughout a lot of his career," says Valadao.

Says Cox: "Frankly it's the Donald and David show and people rejected that in 2018 and they're going to reject it again in 2020."

Like prizefighters, they're ready for the rematch.

Two years ago TJ Cox declared victory 22 days after Election night.

We may again need a few weeks to count up all the votes to see who wins in the 21st District.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.