It is amazing how the legacy media is avoiding talking about California’s role in forging the path to a Republican House Majority. They’d rather fixate on a “given” vote for Democrat Hakeem Jeffries as Minority Leader than acknowledge that deeply blue, progressive California helped to seal the deal of 220 (so far) Republicans in the House of Representatives.
The last three representatives who got the GOP over the majority finish line are Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, incumbent Rep. David Valadao, and incumbent Rep. Mike Garcia. Of California’s 52 House seats for the next Congress, one district race still remains to be called: California 13.
It’s a fascinating nail-biter.
From The California Globe:
“The 13th District House race between Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) and Businessman/Farmer John Duarte continued to be called as undecided on Monday, with the last 1% of the vote expected to trickle in soon and finally call the election where there is currently a less than 600 vote difference.”
“Since the primary in June, in which Duarte narrowly secured a 34% victory over Gray’s 31% in a race where multiple Republicans and Democrats had over 10% of the vote, the 13th has been one of the closest House races in the country. Coming into Election Day earlier this month, prediction outlets said that the district could fall anywhere between leaning Republican and leaning Democrat, being one of the few districts in the country to have such a wide array of predictions. At the end of the night, Gray was slightly up in voting, but as results came in during the following weeks, Duarte moved up and took a narrow lead, being a reversal of the trend seen around California where mail-in ballots generally favored Democrats.”
As of Monday, Duarte has maintained that slight lead with 99 percent of the vote already counted, according to Decision Desk HQ.
DDHQ General Results for CA District 13 as of 12-01-2022. (Credit: Decision Desk HQ)
Duarte remains optimistic, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.
Republican John Duarte, a farmer from Modesto, told The Bee on Monday that he thinks that he will win California’s 13th Congressional District. “I am honored to be able to go in and fight for the 13th District,” Duarte said at a hotel near Capitol Hill, where the second round of New Member Orientation is this week.
Despite the race not being called by the likes of Decision Desk HQ and the Associated Press, the rest of the world accepts the reality that he will probably pull it out. The areas of the San Joaquin Valley and areas outside of Fresno are where a majority of the votes remain, and the numbers look to be in Duarte’s favor.
The Republican said his experience working with people across the Central Valley through his family’s plant-nursery business shaped his view of what residents needed. That is getting water on the farms, drilling American oil and curbing inflation onset by government policy. “These are real simple things,” he said. “But apparently we have to do a lot of education on why these things matter to so many Americans who aren’t being weighed in when a lot of these decisions are being made.” Duarte has had personal experience with confronting federal policy. A decade ago, he mounted a bid against federal environmental regulations that rallied farmers and conservatives around him.
Gray is pulling together the donors to raise money for a recount.
I've seen enough: barring a tabulation error, John Duarte (R) defeats Adam Gray (D) in #CA13. That means the final House count will be 222R-213D, a mirror image of Dems' current majority.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 23, 2022
This final race to be called is a reflection of the state of California as well as the state of the nation, and that common ground is what appears to be keeping District 13 in play. District 13 combines some of the more progressive parts of California (Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley) with some of the most conservative (Hayward, San Leandro) within its environs. The major cities are major woke, with controlling leadership and policies, from universal basic income to banning ghost guns. So, the fact that it is a close race with the Republican edging out the Democrat says more about the voters’ state of mind than about party designation.
Duarte’s platform included inflation and lowering the cost of critical items like gas and food; public safety; and WATER. This district is a bit of a hybrid, with major cities like Oakland and Hayward surrounded by agrarian centers. All of them are highly concerned about this issue, and Democrats, including our bloated Governor “Hair Gel” Newsom, have done little to allay concerns or offer solutions.
Nothing new there.
Should the CD-13 race finally be called in Duarte’s favor, he will become a part of what Cal Matters is calling, “The David Valadao Club of Republicans,” which, along with Rep. Valadao, includes Rep. Ken Calvert in Riverside, Rep. Michelle Steel in Orange County, and Rep. Mike Garcia in North Los Angeles. These are GOPers who have held their seat despite contending in a heavily blue district. Steel, Garcia, and Calvert were subject to redistricting that, let’s face it, was geared to take them out.
Yet, they’re still standing, as a representative bulwark, that progressive governance is not what people are hankering after–they want sanity and stability. Two words that cannot be associated with any elected Democrat.