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State and Congress Races: Fresno Delegation Headed Back to DC; Vidak Falls
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 6 years ago on
November 7, 2018

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While the Democrats claim a majority of the House of Representatives nationally, the Fresno delegation will stay the same.

(D) Jim Costa, center, spending time with volunteers on the day of election. (Jahz Tello/GV Wire)

Jim Costa, David Valadao and Devin Nunes handled their evenings in convincing fashion.

With 100% precincts reporting:

Costa, a Fresno Democrat, leads Republican Elizabeth Heng, 54%-46%.

Valadao (R-Hanford) leads Democratic challenger TJ Cox, 54%-46%.

Nunes (R-Tulare), perhaps in the most contentious race, outpaced Fresno Democrat Andrew Janz, 56%-44%.

Jeff Cummins, Fresno State political science director and co-director of the Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, feels Nunes could still be stopped in the future.

“I think he has been stopped because he will no longer head the House Intelligence Committee as of January. He could also be vulnerable in the next presidential election, especially if things head south for President Trump,” Cummins told GV Wire.

In nearby districts, Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) holds a razor-thin lead over Democrat Josh Harder in the 10th District. Denham leads 50.6 to 49.4 – a margin of just under 1.300 votes.

Tom McClintock (R-Roseville) defeated Democratic challenger Jessica Morse, 55%-44%. McClintock represents parts of Fresno and Madera counties.

And, Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) wins with 67%. While he will no longer be Republican Majority Leader, he is likely to be the highest ranking member of the soon-to-be minority party. McCarthy represents parts of Tulare County.

State Senate

(D) Melissa Hurtado (Jahz Tello/GV Wire)

Races for Valley representation in the state Senate are extremely close.

With 100% precincts reporting:

In District 12, Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) leads Rob Poythress (R-Madera) by 1,019 votes.

In District 14, Sanger councilwoman Melissa Hurtado upset incumbent Republican Andy Vidak. Hurtado, a Democrat finished the race with 52% of the vote, or 3,374 votes.

Hurtado’s apparent victory surprised some experts.

“I did not see this one coming, but Hurtado did outspend him and she has some political experience as a councilwoman,” Fresno State’s Cummins said.

Andreas Borgeas cruised to victory in District 8. The Republican leads 61%-39% over Paulina Miranda. Borgeas is a Republican.

State Assembly

State Assemblyman (D) Joaquin Arambula (Jahz Tello/GV Wire)

Joaquin Arambula and Jim Patterson, representing Fresno, are returning to Sacramento.

With 100% precincts reporting:

Arambula (D-Fresno) leads Republican Lupe Espinoza, 62%-38%.

Patterson (R-Fresno) defeated Aileen Rizo, 62%-38% in District 23.

In a close race for the district representing parts of Kings and Kern counties heading into Election Day, Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) is likely headed back to the Capitol, defeating Republican Justin Mendes of Hanford, 53%-47%.

Also, Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) is headed for re-election, with a 61% margin over challenger Jose Sigala.

Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) will continue to represent Madera County, winning whit 60% of the vote.

This story has been updated with now all precincts reporting at 100%.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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