Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put $300,000 into an independent media buy in support of Hanford Republican David Valadao, who is seeking his second term in Congress.
On Thursday, the organization’s national political director, Rob Engstrom, came to Fresno to reinforce what was obvious with last week’s media buy — the U.S. Chamber is endorsing Valadao.
“It’s a top five race in the country for us,” Engstrom said.
Valadao is in a competitive re-election campaign against Democrats Amanda Renteria of Sanger and John Hernandez of Fresno. Two of the three will move on in the June 3 primary, and since Valadao is the lone Republican in the race, he is widely expected to be one of those two.
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Still, respected political prognosticators say the race will be competitive, largely because voter registration numbers favor both a Democrat and a Hispanic.
Valadao is neither, but Engstrom said he is the best fit for the district, and is the type of pro-business moderates the chamber wants to see in Congress.
If Renteria is Valadao’s opponent in November, the battle could be especially pitched, because she has proven to be an effective fundraiser.
Engstrom wouldn’t reveal the chamber’s strategy going forward, but he made it clear that it would be doing all that is necessary to help Valadao win reelection.