Republican Rep. David Valadao of Hanford, Calif., raised 10 times as much as his Democratic opponent last quarter, despite representing a district that backed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and where Democrats have a voter registration advantage. It's the third lackluster fundraising quarter in a row for Democratic challenger Emilio Huerta, the son of labor rights icon Dolores Huerta. He is the only announced challenger to the three-term congressman in the 21st Congressional District in the San Joaquin Valley.
Democrats have a few problems to sweat over in this year's midterm elections: winnowing their vast fields of candidates and navigating California's top-two primary system, to name a couple.
But in Orange County, a key battleground as they attempt to take back the House, money doesn't seem to be one of them. Incumbents in all four Orange County districts held by Republicans raised less money than some of their challengers in the last quarter of 2017.
In 2016, California's 14 Republican-held congressional districts returned all GOP incumbents to the House of Representatives. However, majorities in seven of those districts chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump for president. The districts were located in places long associated with rock-ribbed conservatism: The High Desert, Orange County, interior San Diego County and the Central Valley. Our Blue State/Red District series investigates those seven red districts, the challenges shaping their destinies and the policy rifts between congressional representatives and their constituents. Our reporters spoke to residents, both Republican and Democrat, to learn which issues they consider important as well as which may be flying under the radar - but could have profound effects on American politics.
The California Donor Table is a community of donors who pool and align investments in leaders, groups and systems that make lasting progressive political change beyond any single election cycle or issue campaign.