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Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 1 month ago on
April 17, 2024

The latest fundraising totals show good numbers for local Democrats seeking to unseat Republicans. Left to right: John Duarte, Adam Gray, Rudy Salas, David Valadao. (GV Wire Composite/David Rodriguez)

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Rudy Salas and Adam Gray have lots to brag about with the latest fundraising tallies for congressional candidates.

Both are former Democratic Assemblymembers hoping to unseat Republican incumbents. Both lost to the same men in 2022.

Salas, D-Bakersfield, reported raising $1 million for the period covering Feb. 15 through March 31. Rep. David Valadao, R-near Hanford, raised $558,170.

“People need a champion who will put the Central Valley first, just as I have always done. People are tired of politicians like David Valadao who continue to vote to make life harder for Central Valley families by voting to cut services for seniors, raise healthcare costs, and who continue to vote to enable the extremism in Washington that people are fed up with,” Salas said.

Valadao still has the overall fundraising lead, $2.8 million to $1.8 million, and more than double cash on hand.

Gray, D-Merced, at $825,834 for the period, doubled the total of Duarte, R-Modesto, at $412,288.

“People are tired of seeing a bunch of do-nothing representatives sit around arguing about who will be the next speaker,” Gray said. “I believe that’s why people are willing to contribute. They want to get things done.”

However, Duarte has more cash on hand, $1.8 million to $1.1 million.

“I want to thank all of the hardworking families who are supporting our campaign to bring down the cost of groceries, gas, and housing. Standing together, as Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, we are proving that real solutions for our Valley are more important than party labels,” Duarte said.

(GV Wire/David Rodriguez)

Dems Outraising GOP

Democrats are banking on flipping the two districts, and are pouring national support to Salas and Gray. The major party fundraising wings — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee — are getting involved.

“The proof is in the numbers: California voters are ready for John Duarte and David Valadao to go, and they know Adam Gray and Rudy Salas are the right leaders to bring true representation back to the Central Valley,” said DCCC spokesperson Dan Gottlieb.

Open Secrets reported that the Democratic National Committee outraised its Republican counterparts, both in February ($16 million to $10 million), and overall ($154 million to $109 million).

“Adam Gray and Rudy Salas sell out Central Valley families every chance they get because the cash they take from Newsom and Pelosi comes with strings attached. In stark contrast, Representatives Valadao and Duarte always put the Valley first and have posted impressive fundraising quarters powered by enthusiasm for their record of results,” NRCC Spokesperson Ben Petersen said.

Fong Outraising, Outspending Boudreaux

Vince Fong and Mike Boudreaux face each other in two elections coming up. The first is a May 21 runoff, with the winner completing the term for the vacant 20th Congressional District seat.

Fong, R-Bakersfield, raised 15 times as much as Boudreaux, R-Springville.

The two also are on the ballot for the Nov. 5 general election for the full-time seat starting Jan. 3, 2025.

McCarthy, Nunes Still Reporting

Former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy quit Congress on Dec. 31, but he still filed campaign finance reports.

Although he reported raising nearly $8,000, most of that was transfers from other committees. McCarthy actually refunded $2.8 million in contributions.

Two curious items were spending $346 for lodging on Jan. 2, 2024 at the Hyatt Place Bakersfield; and $470 for lodging at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Bakersfield, McCarthy’s own hometown.

Nunes, who left Congress at the end of 2021 to become CEO of Trump Media and Technology Group, reported $761,939 in receipts — all from an Edward Jones Investments account.

Most of Nunes’ spending went to consultant River Right LLC, operated by Tal Cloud of Sanger.

No Change in Orange Cove Recount, Tax Measure Fails

A recount requested by and paid for the city of Orange Cove did not change the results of Measure O, a parcel tax measure that would benefit public safety.

The results are now final — needing two-thirds to pass, Measure O failed 66.42% to 33.58%. If only two votes went the other way, the measure would have passed.

Fresno County elections clerk James Kus estimated the recount cost at $5,500.

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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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