Rep. David Valadao wins reelection in endangered Central Valley congressional seat
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SAN DIEGO — A Republican congressman from San Diego County won his bid for reelection on Tuesday to keep his seat in Congress even though incumbent Rep. Darrell Issa has said he’s done the work of his constituents.
Valencia won election to the 5th District by 20 percentage points, defeating Democrat Ravi Patel in the Democratic primary, the Democrats picked up four seats in the state House of Representatives and Democrats flipped control of the state Senate — the first time that happened in California in almost a century.
Issa, a former CIA officer who served under President George W. Bush, was reelected to the House in 2016 despite a challenge from Patel.
Valencia said he was happy with his victory and praised the hard work of his campaign team.
“I worked very hard for all the last year, very hard in the race, very hard to communicate, very hard to be a voice of the Central Valley,” Valadao said. “The Central Valley is a critical part of our community and I’m hopeful voters saw that I’m the only candidate that has an ability to reach out and I’m the only candidate that can do the work.”
His opponent said Patel had a big heart but had “a negative attitude, a bad attitude, and a toxic personality.”
In an interview earlier this month, Issa said he didn’t know if he could defeat Valadao in November, let alone win re-election in 2018. He called Valadao “the greatest politician in the State of California” and said his opponent would “take California in a bad direction.”
“I look forward to continuing to debate with him and hopefully the people of the Central Valley and the greater San Diego region and people on both coasts,” Valadao said. “We’re going to be talking about education, we’re going to be talking about climate change, we’re going to be talking about immigration, we’re going to be talking about jobs, we’re going to be talking about national security.”
Issa’s challenger said it’s time for Democrats to elect a congressional