The first opponent for Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, will be a familiar face: Bakersfield attorney Emilio Huerta, who the incumbent handily defeated last year.
Huerta, a Democrat and the son of United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, placed a distant second to Valadao in last fall’s election, despite Democrats having a sizable majority in party registration in the 21st congressional district. Valadao captured 57 percent of the votes to Huerta’s 43.
Still, Huerta believes the time might be right to try again. In a press release, Huerta cited Valadao’s recent vote on health care as a reason he should be replaced.
“David Valadao’s recent vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act will result in hundreds of thousands of people losing vital health care coverage,” he said.
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The district – which covers all of Kings County and parts of neighboring Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties – has been on the radar of the National Democratic Congressional Committee for years. But no one has been able to defeat Valadao, who first won election in 2012.