Democrat TJ Cox officially concedes to Republican David Valadao in District 21 race

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After another close race for Congressional District 21, Democrat and incumbent TJ Cox officially conceded the race to Republican and former Congressman David Valadao.

The concession comes just more than a week after Valadao declared victory in the race for the seat.

Valadao has received 50.45% of the votes - 85,928 total, while Cox has received 49.55% of the votes at 84,406.

Votes are still being counted from the district, which includes all of Kings County as well as portions of Fresno, Kern, and Tulare Counties.

RELATED: The Battle for District 21: The Sequel

Cox released the following statement on Friday:

"Almost three years ago, I entered the race for California's 21st District as an underdog. But we out-worked our opponent and pulled off the most stunning upset in Central Valley history. Unfortunately, this year due to the Coronavirus, we weren't able to engage in door-to-door personal canvassing and the election results reflected that.

"I'm proud of what we've accomplished in just two short years. The 27 bills I introduced and the $700 million dollars of water infrastructure funding that I was able to get passed through the House shows what can be accomplished by reaching out and working together with communities and organizations on the issues that are important to all of us.

"Just as important, I was so happy to provide opportunities, internships and jobs to so many young men and women from the Valley. I want to say thank you to them for considering a career in public service.

"My proudest moment as a Member of Congress was when a young woman from the Valley said to me on the day we passed the Dream and Promise Act, 'Thank you Congressman Cox. You finally make me feel as if someone cares.' I do care and will continue to fight to make a positive difference in the lives of Central Valley residents.

"I am also very proud of the campaign we've run. We didn't engage in gutter politics. We took our message directly to the people, many of whom never knew they could have a strong voice in their federal government. I never forgot that I work for them. I want to thank my staff, 2,000 volunteers, and over 50,000 donors who believed in our campaign to Put People First.

"I hope Mr. Valadao goes back to Washington humbled by his 2018 loss and has learned he can't discount communities like Arvin, Lamont, and Mendota, places that went without visits from their congressional representative for years. I hope he will indeed deliver results for the Central Valley, which desperately needs a strong advocate in Washington


Valadao declared victory in the race last week, releasing the following statement on November 25.

"I'm once again overwhelmed by the Central Valley's support and faith in me.

To everyone who fueled this campaign putting in long hours making phone calls, knocking doors and believing in this cause - thank you! I could not have done it without you. I commend TJ Cox for running a strong campaign and thank him for his service in Congress.
To the election workers in Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties - I appreciate your hard work over the past three weeks to make sure that every vote was counted fairly and accurately.

To all those who voted for me and those who didn't - I will be a representative here to serve and fight for every resident of the Central Valley with an open door no matter your background.

This Thanksgiving, as the coronavirus continues to spread and our community and nation struggle, we desperately need relief. The only way we will get through this is by sticking together as Americans, not divided by political parties. When I head back to Washington every resident of the Central Valley has my word that I will continue to always put this community first.

I will not stop fighting to support families in the Central Valley fighting to bring more water to our communities, passing a COVID-relief package that will bring much needed help to frontline workers and small businesses, working to improve our healthcare system so that everyone can get the care they need when they need it most."
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