It’s me, Amanda. I can’t help but help put the Central Valley on the radar! We are less than 50 days away from one of the most historical elections of our lifetime, and the Central Valley is right at the center of it.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve received calls from political friends (reporters, consultants, pollsters) asking about the Central Valley. In those conversations, I was reminded of how few people understand the region or have folks on the ground to track races. And yet, the Central Valley might just be the most powerful region in the country.
Here’s what I mean – the CV is home to the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, second highest-ranking Republican Kevin McCarthy and at least 3 closely-contested Congressional races. The outcomes of these races could immediately change the direction of our country.
Now, add in state races, where the key to the supermajority in the State Senate and House runs right through the Valley.
Finally, and something most political analysts can’t see from a far, there are several highly engaged down ballot races that, in sum, have the potential to put higher ballot races over the top. To put a finer point on it, these local races are in key towns for Democrats and there have never been so many new and exciting campaigns!
So, bottomline, it’s time to check in to the Central Valley and keep it on the radar. Over these final weeks, I will send out updates about the dynamics on the ground and some specifics about overlapping races (no more than 2 emails a week)!
Congressional races (incumbent listed first):
CA-10 Denham-R vs Harder-D: The Latino Roundtable switched their endorsement from Denham to Harder! Big move in a 40% Latino district. What’s more is that Harder has the resources in money and volunteers to reach out to all Latino voters in the district!
CA- 16 Costa-D vs Heng-R: Costa released an ad about Heng missing elections. This is no surprise for Costa, his race is rarely called on election night, and it’s been like that for about 14 years.
CA-22 Nunes-R vs Janz-D: Latest Poll shows Janz within 6 points. And, to celebrate, he threw out a decent pitch at the Visalia Rawhide game! The energy around this campaign locally and nationally just keeps growing.
CA-21 Valadao-R vs Cox-D: Big news – TJ Cox was on stage with former President Obama talking about the importance of this election! And, mark your calendars for the debate on Oct. 25. Quick reminder: Trump lost this district by 16 points and Valadao has voted with Trump 99% of the time.
CA-23 McCarthy-R vs Matta-D: It was recently reported that McCarthy is traveling across the country doing a lot more Speaker campaigning than home district campaigning. We will see if that pays off. In the meantime, Matta is active on social media and community leaders keep protesting his office.
SD-12 Caballero-D vs Poythress-R: Anna, a former Assemblywoman who starts off with name recognition and a great base, was just endorsed by the Sheriffs Association and Republican County Supervisor. You don’t see that very often, especially these days!
SD-14 Vidak-R vs Hurtado-D: Hurtado, the only woman on Sanger’s City Council, has an important base in a key Dem-majority city. By the way, Trump lost this district by 22.7 pts!
AD23 Patterson-R vs Rizo-D: The district has never had a candidate like this – Aileen Rizo is known locally and nationally for her Equal Pay fight in California.
AD-26 Mathis-R vs Sigala-D: No one is harder working on the doors than Jose Sigala. What’s more is that the #EnoughIsEnough project has targeted this race because of Devin Mathis’ sexual harassment issues.
AD-31 Arambula-D vs Espinoza-R: Dr. Arambula has stayed true to his profession and just released his quality healthcare report for the Valley. Trump lost this district by almost 30 pts.
AD-32 Salas-D vs Mendes-R: Rudy has been doing important work in the Capitol on Valley Fever legislation that impacts all Valley families. He’s also joint campaigning with TJ Cox in Lamont, leading the #ValleyTogether effort in the south Valley! Trump lost this district by 18.5 pts.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot going on in down-ballot races. Remember the MALDEF case in Kern County? Well, the result is a county board seat is open. Delano, a strong Dem town, is fired up to choose their supervisor and one of the most important GOTV areas to flip seats!
There has also been a lot of work in voter education and engagement throughout the summer. The LATimes had an op-ed about UC Santa Cruz students successfully engaging CV youth to vote and Paola Ramos (daughter of Jorge Ramos) was just in Sanger at the youth center and doing voter reg!
Lastly, I was recently quoted as saying, “I’ve never seen this kind of political engagement across the region”. I said that because the forces are lining up for this to be a historical turnout of new midterm voters.
And, if you still aren’t convinced, consider this:
- There have never been six figure TV ad buys this far out from election day.
- There have never been campaigns raising multiple millions in just one quarter (bonus: one of them was all individual donors).
- There have never been such active social media campaigns that can reach all of our rural communities, in multiple languages.
- Oh, and did I mention billboards and bounce houses? Yes, there’s quite a bit of unconventional campaigning that’s hard to see from far away.
I look forward to the continuing dialogue. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email back. Also, if you know someone who wants to be added to this list, have them email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use the title, “Add to CV”.
All the Best,