The central San Joaquin Valley’s five congressmen all won re-election Tuesday.
The race was by far the most contentious in the region. Incumbent David Valadao, a Republican from Hanford, and Bakersfield Democrat Emilio Huerta traded personal and political attacks across the airwaves in the weeks leading up to the election.
Never miss a local story.
With all precincts reporting in the district that spans Fresno, Kings and Kern counties, Valadao had 58.6 percent of the vote to 41.4 percent for Huerta.
The heavily favored Valadao dwarfed his opponent in campaign fundraising, gathering $2.5 million to Huerta’s $600,000. But Huerta, a lawyer and the son of United Farm Workers of America co-founder Dolores Huerta, received a shot in the arm by way of an $844,221 investment from the Democrat-aligned House Majority PAC. American Action Network, an advocacy organization affiliated with the Republican-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, countered with a $750,000 boost for Valadao.
In the June primary, Valadao captured 54 percent of the vote to Huerta’s 24 percent and Fowler Democrat Daniel Parra’s 22 percent.
Fresno Democrat Jim Costa beat return Republican challenger Johnny Tacherra. Costa, a Fresno Democrat, narrowly defeated the Fresno County dairyman in 2014. This time, the margin is 10.8 percentage points, with Costa receiving 55.4 percent of the vote.
Costa had a wide fundraising gap from the beginning, raising $1.7 million to Tacherra’s $486,000.
Costa received 56 percent of the vote in June to Tacherra’s 33 percent. Madera County Supervisor David Rogers gained 11 percent. The district spans Fresno, Madera and Merced counties.
Devin Nunes, the Republican incumbent from Tulare, rolled up 68.5 percent of the vote in the district that spans Fresno and Tulare counties. Democrat Louie Campos, a paralegal, received 31.5 percent.
Republican incumbent Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield ran up 70.6 percent of the vote to 29.4 percent for Democrat Wendy Reed. The district is based in Kern County but takes in part of Tulare County (including Porterville) and part of northern Los Angeles county.
Tom McClintock, the Republican incumbent from Elk Grove, totaled 62.3 percent of the vote to 37.7 percent for Democrat Bob Derlet of Twain Harte. The district spans the Mother Lode from Nevada County in the north to Fresno County in the south.
The district is north of the central San Joaquin Valley but drew a lot of attention because it was rated a toss-up in the days before the election. However, incumbent Republican Jeff Denham successfully defended his seat, receiving 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent for Democrat Michael Eggman.