Jun 27, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Impeachment Republican David Valadao survives primary

Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images.

Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) dispatched a host of Republican challengers and will advance to the general election for his Central Valley House seat, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: Valadao was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted last January to impeach former President Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

  • That vote has proved politically catastrophic for others, some of whom opted to cut short their careers rather than face uncertain re-election prospects.

Driving the news: Valadao and Democratic state Rep. Rudy Salas will face off in what is set to be one of the most highly contested races in the country — and one of Democrats' few true pickup opportunities this cycle.

  • Two Republicans also ran in the June 7 primary to Valadao's right: businessman Adam Medeiros and former Fresno City Councilman Chris Mathys.

Between the lines: What sets Valadao apart from other impeachment Republicans is that former President Trump didn't endorse one of his GOP rivals.

  • One potential factor is that Valadao, who is close with fellow Californian and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, represents one of the most Democratic-leaning seats held by a Republican.

By the numbers: It's not clear if any of the 10 Republicans who voted for Trump's impeachment will be in the 118th Congress.

  • Four chose retirement, while Trump has endorsed opponents of the other five running for re-election.
  • Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) represents a top target for Trump in a solidly Republican seat and, unlike Valadao, appears to be the underdog.
  • And like Valadao, Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) faces a highly competitive race in November even if he beats back his Trump-endorsed challenger.
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