Hanford Republican David Valadao is two-for-two in congressional races, posting convincing victories over his Democratic opponents in 2012 and 2014. Still, it seems congressional Republicans consider him to be in a competitive district.
Valadao was recently named to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Patriot Program, which helps Republicans who may be vulnerable and makes sure they have strong organizations and fundraising operations in place. For those who meet those benchmarks, the GOP then flags its donor base to send money.
“We welcome our addition to the list of NRCC Patriots because of what it says about the strength of our campaign team,” said Tal Eslick, Valadao’s campaign spokesman. “However, the most important political support comes from the people of the 21st district, and we never lose sight of that fact.”
The Patriot Program is like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline program. Both programs are for incumbents. The DCCC named six California Democrats to the Frontline program, but none from this area. Valadao is one of 12 Republicans named to the NRCC’s Patriot Program, and the only one from California.
Turlock Republican Jeff Denham isn’t on the list, which means the NRCC feels he is no longer in a competitive seat. Valadao is almost certainly on the list because Democrats continue to enjoy a huge voter-registration edge in the district.
Even with that voter-registration edge, Valadao — now in his third term — was able to easily beat Fresno Democrat John Hernandez in 2012 and Sanger Democrat Amanda Renteria last year.