California Republican ousted in 2018 announces rematch for House seat

California Republican ousted in 2018 announces rematch for House seat
© Greg Nash

Former Rep. David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoCalifornia Republican ousted in 2018 announces rematch for House seat The 8 House Republicans who voted against Trump’s border wall The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — The political currents that will drive the shutdown showdown MORE (R-Calif.), who lost his seat in the 2018 blue wave, announced Wednesday he will run for the House again in California’s 21st District.

“The Central Valley needs a strong voice they can trust representing them in Congress — someone who listens and understands that Central Valley residents just want an opportunity to provide and build a better life for their families. That’s why I’m running to represent California’s 21st District,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

“I can make a difference for the Central Valley, and I will work day in and day out for the honor and privilege of serving this community.”

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Valadao’s announcement sets up a much-anticipated rematch for one of last year’s tightest midterm races.

The California Republican held a 4,400-vote lead immediately after polling closed in November and was initially declared the victor, but a batch of outstanding provisional and mail-in ballots ultimately handed Democrat TJ Cox the seat.

House Democrats' campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), hammered Valadao after his announcement Wednesday, seeking to tie the former three-term lawmaker to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE in a district that is majority Hispanic.

“In 2018, #CA21 voters rightly threw @dgvaladao out of office. Valadao’s a career politician who sided with President Trump 98% of the time,” the DCCC tweeted.

“Now FAILED Rep. @dgvaladao has announced he will run again in #CA21. Clearly Valadao didn't get the message last time. But maybe he’ll learn this time when Central Valley voters again reject the morally bankrupt Trump-Valadao agenda in 2020.”

The GOP is hoping to regain ground in the House next year after the party was widely rebuked in suburban districts like the one in California last year.

Republicans are working to cast Democratic opponents as “socialists” in the hopes that the moniker will turn off moderate or independent voters.

“TJ Cox is a corrupt businessman who has already proven he is unfit to serve in Congress,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair said in a statement. “Cox wants to take even more money out of your pocket to fund his socialist agenda. He is wrong for the Central Valley and wrong for America.” 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates California’s 21st District as “Lean Democratic” in the 2020 cycle.