'There's a lot of unfinished business': David Valadao announces he's running for Congress again

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After losing his seat in the US House of Representatives by just 862 votes in 2018, David Valadao has announced that he will run again in 2020.

Valadao, a Republican, was first elected to the House in 2012 but lost his seat in 2018 in an extremely close race against Democrat TJ Cox.

In a statement, Valadao said he "cannot continue to sit silent while TJ Cox pursues a radical liberal agenda that hurts our communities."

Born and raised in Hanford, Valadao attended College of the Sequoias.

He sat down with Action News to talk about his November 2018 loss to Cox.

"It was obviously frustrating, especially it playing out for three weeks and being the last race called in the nation and one that was watched on so many different fronts," he said.

Valadao hopes to drive it all the way home in 2020, adding he plans to continue tackling issues surrounding immigration, healthcare, and water in the Central Valley.

"There's a lot of unfinished business - the waterfront one is what really frustrates me because we just came out of a really wet year and a bunch of our Westside guys only got 70% of their allocation."

A spokesperson for Congressman Cox released a statement that reads in part -
"In less than a year, he has introduced bold, bipartisan legislation to expand rural health care access, secured $10 million for post-traumatic stress research in servicemembers, he's delivered millions in funding for desperately needed water storage and infrastructure, and just this week, the president signed Rep. Cox's bill to provide relief to more family farmers during the agricultural downturn.

Valadao said that is not helping farmers.

"A lot of these politicians - they talk about building an infrastructure as if that's what's going to deliver the water. The problem is the rules in place that allow us to move from that infrastructure to the valley and that's where our problem is."

Valadao said he feels his bipartisan effort will help Congress pass bills that impact constituents here.

"It's important to work across the aisle, to make sure we accomplish what is important here for the Central Valley," he said.

One of the things Valadao said he plans to do differently during this campaign is fight back any negative comments and false rumors.

He also said he's already preparing to hit the ground running over the next 14 months campaigning with his team.

The 21st Congressional District includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.
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