In political circles, the underdog usually issues the challenge to debate. But in California’s 21st congressional district the incumbent is calling out his rival.

Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) challenged Democrat TJ Cox to two televised debates Monday.

“I am very excited to discuss the issues that matter most to our community, from improving access to much-needed water to investing in career-technical education to delivering on our commitment to veterans,” Valadao said in a news release.

Cox Accepts

“We’re happy to debate, and we’ll reply very shortly,” Cox told GV Wire.

Valadao’s proposal calls for two debates Oct. 25. One would be a one-hour forum on KSEE-24 and KGET-17 in Bakersfield (both are NBC affiliates owned by Nexstar). The second debate would be in Spanish with “no interpreters or voice-over translators” to air for 30 minutes on Telemundo.

National poll watchers have mixed opinions on the race. FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver gives Cox a 64.34% probability of winning. However, Cook Political Report and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball say the district is likely Republican.

According to the Secretary of State, CA-21 has 45% Democratic registration and 28% Republican.

History on Valadao’s Side

Valadao led Cox in the June primary, 63%-37%.

Valadao won the House seat in 2012 with 58% of the vote. He has been reelected by similar margins — 58% in 2014 and 57% in 2016.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

We've got issues, and we're willing to share
(but only if you want them in your inbox).