Hanford Republican David Valadao, who is seeking a second term in the 21st Congressional District, went on the air this week with his first television commercial, titled “Fighting for the Central Valley.”
His challenger, Sanger Democrat Amanda Renteria, followed later in the week with her own first commercial, titled “Heart.” The ad starts Friday.
Both television commercials — produced and paid for by the respective campaigns — are all positive and don’t even hint at the opponent.
Valadao’s commercial calls him “the son of immigrants” and “a farmer with deep roots in the Central Valley.” Renteria’s says she was “born and raised in the Central Valley” and “played third base and point guard, making local history with a scholarship to Stanford, then Harvard Business School.”
It’s just the start of the ad blitz, both campaign say.
Valadao’s campaign says its commercial is running on both network and cable stations in Fresno and Bakersfield. And this and other commercials will keep coming all the way until Election Day on both English and Spanish stations.
Following the introduction, the first Valadao 30-second spot hits on one of the top two issues in the central San Joaquin Valley — water. It says Valadao is “fighting to make water reliable and clean for our communities and farms.”
The ad finishes up by calling him “a champion for veterans” and says he is working to make college and vocational training more accessible and affordable.
Not surprisingly, the Renteria campaign took issue with every one of the claims in the Valadao commercial.
“This ad definitely gets five out of five Pinocchios,” Renteria campaign spokeswoman Maria Machuca said in a statement, referring to the character whose nose grows when he tells lies.
For instance, on making college more affordable, the Renteria campaign says that last year Valadao voted for a bill that would ultimately lead to higher interest rates on certain government student loans, and against a bill to extend student loan interest rates at 3.4%.
Renteria’s own 30-second spot — which is running on both Fresno and Bakersfield television stations — talks about her work helping craft the new Farm Bill when she was chief of staff to Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who was the Senate Agriculture Committee chair.
“Imagine what she can do for your family in Congress?” the ad then asks.
Tal Eslick, Valadao’s campaign spokesman, said Renteria “deserves credit for her athletic achievements. However, her record is an absolute strikeout. She has spent the last decade in Washington D.C. and is supported by liberal groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council — the very environmental group responsible for suing valley farmers and forcing their water out to the ocean.”