David Valadao, Rudy Salas sit down with ABC30 ahead of November 8 election

Valadao and Salas are fighting to the finish for the new 22nd District seat.

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Saturday, November 5, 2022
David Valadao, Rudy Salas sit down with ABC30 ahead of Nov. 8 election
Action News spoke with Republican David Valadao and Democrat Rudy Salas about the balance of power in Washington and the issues most important to you.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rising gas prices.

Sizzling electricity rates.

The soaring costs of food, housing and healthcare.

These are tough times for many American families and a recent ABC News poll found half of registered voters believe either the economy or inflation is the most important issue in the vote for Congress.

Republican Congressman David Valadao of Hanford says if Republicans take control of Congress after the mid-terms, the first order of business will be getting the economy and the Federal checkbook under control.


Valadao's opponent, Democratic Assemblyman Rudy Salas of Bakersfield, believes the economy will improve if wages go up and various costs go down for American families.


"We need to make sure that we're lowering costs for people," he said. "Medicine, healthcare, that's such a huge burden on families that we need to make sure we're doing everything we can to lower that cost for American families."

Both candidates claim increasing oil and gas production, especially in Kern and Fresno Counties, will bring down fuel prices and create jobs.

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

Valadao believes it will have a cost-reducing ripple effect across the entire American marketplace.

The Congressman also wants to focus on smoothing out supply chain issues and getting more water to drive the Valley's agricultural engine.

"Allow us to bring water into the Valley so we can allow farmers to grow food," he said.

Water is where Valadao and Salas find common ground -- above and below ground.

Both support more water infrastructure and cutting the red tape to get it done.

"We need to invest in water infrastructure," Salas said. "We need to make sure that we're storing more in the wet years and saving for the dry years."

"Making sure we have the flexibility to move water through the Delta is first and foremost how you get water to this part of California, and we have to be smart about the way we manage water," Valadao said.

The two candidates are worlds apart on the issue of abortion.

Salas is a co-sponsor of Proposition One, which reinforces abortion protections in the California Constitution.

It's an issue he stands firm on despite a large number of Catholics in District 22, including himself.

"I've been very clear on this issue - I said the government shouldn't be the one making a decision," Salas said. "That should be between a woman, her doctor and within her own faith."

RELATED: Political ads escalate between David Valadao and Rudy Salas

Valadao is a co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act, which declares the right to life is guaranteed by the Constitution at all stages of life including fertilization.

"I am pro-life," he said. "I've been very clear about that my entire career, but I do support the three exceptions: rape, incest, the life of the mother - I think are the three that I support."

We conducted two lengthy separate interviews with the candidates after Salas declined an offer from ABC30 to debate Valadao, who accepted the invitation.

Salas has skipped other debates, saying he wants an apology from Valadao over an attack ad.

"He ran an ad attacking me on opioids, saying I'm increasing healthcare," Salas said.

As Action News first reported Wednesday, Valadao, who voted to impeach President Trump, believes the country doesn't need another 2020 election and he offered no support to the former president as a GOP nominee in 2024.

RELATED: Republican Rep. David Valadao won't support Donald Trump in 2024

"We don't need President Biden, we don't need President Trump," he said. "I think we've got a lot of great candidates on the Republican side that would do a way better job. Guys like Tim Scott. Guys like Mike Pence. Ron DeSantis. All good people I think would do a great job, and I think it would take us in a new direction where we can actually focus on solving problems instead of the past."

We asked Rudy Salas a similar question about the 2024 election -- would he support Joe Biden if he is the Democratic nominee for President?

"Oh, I don't know what Joe Biden's going to do," Salas said. "Right now, I'm just trying to focus on the next couple of days, get across the election so that I can actually have a seat at the table for Central Valley families. But I'll tell you whoever the President is, whether it's Democrat or Republican, I want to work with the president that's going to work for Central Valley families."

About Salas skipping those debates, a Valadao campaign spokesperson said in part to Action News, "His refusal to debate is just confirming what we've known all along -- the Central Valley can't trust Rudy to show up when we need him."