California Republican becomes only the second GOP member to vote to impeach Trump to win re-election

California Republican becomes only the second GOP member to vote to impeach Trump to win re-election after former-President made them prime targets during midterm campaigns

  • Valadao held a three-point lead over Democrat Rudy Salas in the Central Valley 22nd District when the race was called Monday night 
  • The outcome took nearly two weeks to be decided in the competitive race 
  • Valadao now joins Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse as the only two out of 10 Republicans who pulled off a win after voting to impeach
  • Republicans won the 218 seats they need to take a majority last Wednesday, but Valadao’s victory now puts them at 219-212. Four races have yet to be decided

California Rep. David Valadao became only the second Republican to pull off a victory in the midterm election after successfully avoiding Donald Trump‘s crosshairs despite voting for impeachment. 

Valadao held a three-point lead over Democrat Rudy Salas in the Central Valley 22nd District when the race was called Monday night. 

The outcome took nearly two weeks to be decided in the competitive race. Valadao now joins Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse as the only two out of 10 Republicans who pulled off a win after voting to impeach. 

The rest, including Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., either lost primaries or chose to retire. 

Republicans won the 218 seats they need to take a majority last Wednesday, but Valadao’s victory now puts them at 219-212. Four races have yet to be decided. 

In Michigan and Washington, Trump-backed candidates lost previously solid Republican seats after they defeated pro-impeachment Republicans in primaries but could not pull off a general election. 

Valadao, above, held a three-point lead over Democrat Rudy Salas in the Central Valley 22nd District when the race was called Monday night.

Valadao, above, held a three-point lead over Democrat Rudy Salas in the Central Valley 22nd District when the race was called Monday night.

Republicans won the 218 seats they need to take a majority last Wednesday, but Valadao's victory now puts them at 219-212. Four races have yet to be decided

Republicans won the 218 seats they need to take a majority last Wednesday, but Valadao’s victory now puts them at 219-212. Four races have yet to be decided

Michigan Trump-backed Republican John Gibbs, who ousted GOP Rep. Peter Meijer in a primary, lost to Democrat Democrat Hilary Scholten and Washington hardline conservative Joe Kent, who knocked off Rep. Jamie Heurrera Beutler in a primary, lost to Democrat Marie Gleusenkamp Perez.

Valadao represented the 22nd District from 2013 to 2019 and narrowly won back the seat in 2020 over Democrat T.J. Cox. 

Despite his vote to impeach Trump, Valadao avoided a Trump-backed primary challenger. Trump did not engage in the primary, and GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy endorsed Valadao. 

‘Valadao is such a nice guy,’ said Jon Fleischman, a Republican strategist in California, previously told the Los Angeles Times. ‘He’s holding on to a seat that can’t be won by any other Republican. And everyone sees him under McCarthy’s wing.’ 

Valadao now joins Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, above, as the only two out 10 Republicans who pulled off a win after voting to impeach

Valadao now joins Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse, above, as the only two out 10 Republicans who pulled off a win after voting to impeach

Democrats, however, did wade into the primary, attempting to boost far-right challenger Chris Mathys, who they viewed as easier to beat. They ran ads criticizing Valadao for his vote.

In the final month of the campaign, Republican political action committees, including the McCarthy-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, spent more than $11 million in advertising for Valadao, according to California Target Book.

Valadao held a solidly conservative voting record, voting against the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but broke with his party with his vote to impeach Trump. 

A dairy farmer by background, Valadao ran on agricultural matters, fighting inflation and protecting jobs and caring for the elderly. 

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