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Duarte’s Priorities are Water, Oil, and Inflation



Congressman-elect John Duarte, a Modesto grower, hopes to serve on the ag and natural resources committees. (Duarte congressional campaign)
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Congressman-elect John Duarte of Modesto made it clear in an exclusive interview with GV Wire that his goal is to fight for water for the Valley and not waste time on Donald Trump’s antics or those of far-right Republicans.

Duarte, who squeezed out a narrow win over Merced Democrat Adam Gray for the 13 District seat, says he wants his first legislation to deal with water. He also wants a study done on how much water is “getting flushed out to the ocean.” His desire is to serve on the agriculture and natural resources committees.

“Those two committees have a lot, a lot to do with water on the farms,” Duarte, a farmer, said via Zoom on Monday afternoon.

Watch the full interview below. Here are the timestamps:

1 – Concession call with Adam Gray (00:22)
2 – Key to winning the 13th District (00:48)
3 – Reaction to negative campaign ads (03:01)
4 – Reaction to Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims Endorsing Gray (04:27)
5 – Being a bipartisan congressman (05:17)
6 – Plan to reduce gas prices (06:11)
7 – First legislation to be introduced (7:47)
8 – Supporting Kevin McCarthy for Speaker (09:31)
9 – Focus on the next Congress (09:56)
10 – When is impeachment justified? (10:44)
11 – Comments on Trump hosting rapper Ye and white supremacist Nick Fuentes (11:19)
12 – Next steps for the coming weeks and hiring staff (11:54)
13 – Thank you (12:51)

Supports McCarthy for Speaker

Duarte also revealed that he will support House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, for Speaker of the House. That support is crucial to McCarthy realizing his career dream of becoming Speaker because there’s a group of about 20 hard-right Republicans who say they will oppose him. And, the Republicans will hold a narrow majority of nine seats (222-213) when the new members are sworn in next month.

Duarte’s support of McCarthy might be expected as both are part of the Valley’s GOP contingent in the House. However, Duarte says that the promised investigations from GOP members on everything from Hunter Biden’s laptop to President Biden’s handling of the southern border with Mexico won’t consume a lot of his attention.

“That’s not where my focus is,” he said. “My focus is going to be on drilling American oil, getting water on the farms, and improving lives here in the 13th District.”

Critical of Trump’s Meeting With Ye, Fuentes

Duarte also criticized the recent meeting between former president Donald Trump and rapper/businessman Ye (the former Kanye West whose anti-Semitic outbursts have made him a pariah in some quarters) and Nick Fuentes, who espouses antisemitic and white supremacist views.

“I don’t want to associate with white supremacists,” Duarte said. “I think Donald Trump needs to own his own actions, his own words. And I’m really not going back to Washington, D.C., to play mean girls about a bunch of personalities or anything like that. I’m going back to Washington, D.C. to deliver benefits to my district and improve the quality of life here in my district.”

During the campaign, Gray and his supporters accused Duarte of being a dishonest businessman. He says he took the campaign punches in stride.

“Well, I just screamed. I stayed off the news channels,” Duarte said. “But this is what we bargained for when we got in the race.”

13th District Map



David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email