Democratic Rep. Cox advances in California primary

Greg Nash

Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.) will face off in a rematch against the Republican he previously unseated, David Valadao, in his bid for a second term in November after clearing the threshold in Tuesday’s all-party primary.

Cox narrowly defeated Valadao, by just 862 votes, in 2018. And now Valadao, who served three terms, is hoping to take his old seat back.

Democrats won the seat at the presidential level in 2012 and 2016, yet in both cases voters in the Fresno-area district sent a Republican to Congress.

About 74 percent of the district’s population identifies as Hispanic, according to Census data.

Valadao had been one of only a handful of Republicans representing a majority-Hispanic district, which he kept by advocating for comprehensive immigration reform and touting his agricultural ties with his background as a dairy farmer.

Cox has come under scrutiny over unpaid taxes and for having to pay a claim for $58,000 in back wages owed to three employees in Canada. The Fresno Bee also reported last month that Cox owed $145,000 in unpaid federal income taxes.

Valadao has also drawn headlines for a lawsuit regarding a 2016 accident at his family dairy farm in which a worker lost part of his arm. Valadao was not involved in daily operations at the time since he was still serving in the House.

The Cook Political Report currently rates the race as “lean Democratic.”

Tags David Valadao

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