David Valadao

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David Valadao
David Valadao, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 21st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Devin Nunes
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 30th district
In office
December 6, 2010 – November 30, 2012
Preceded by Danny Gilmore
Succeeded by Rudy Salas
Personal details
Born David Goncalves Valadao
(1977-04-14) April 14, 1977 (age 41)
Hanford, California
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Terra Valadao
Residence Hanford, California
Alma mater College of the Sequoias
Profession Dairy Farmer
Website Representative David Valadao

David Goncalves Valadao (born April 14, 1977) is an American politician who has been a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California's 21st congressional district, since 2013. Prior to that, he served one term in the California State Assembly, representing the 30th district. He is a member of the Republican Party. In Congress, Valadao has gained a reputation as one of the Republican Party's leading advocates of comprehensive immigration reform.[1][2]

Early life, education, and farming career

Valadao was born and raised in Hanford, California. His parents are Portuguese immigrants. He graduated from Hanford High School in 1995, and attended the College of the Sequoias in Visalia. He currently serves as the managing partner of Valadao Dairy, which he owns with his brothers.[3] He has also been a member of the California Milk Advisory Board, Western States Dairy Trade Association, and Regional Leadership Council Chairman for Land O' Lakes.[4]

California Assembly

2010 election

Valadao announced his candidacy for California's 30th State Assembly district following the retirement of Republican Assemblyman Danny Gilmore in 2010. He defeated Stephanie Campbell in the Republican primary 78%–22%.[5] In the general election, he defeated Shafter Mayor Fran Florez 61%–39%.[6][7]

Committee assignments

  • Assembly Agriculture Committee (Vice Chairman)
  • Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee
  • Assembly Budget Committee

U.S. House of Representatives



Valadao announced in August 2011 that he would seek the Republican nomination for California's 21st congressional district.[8] In the June 5 open primary, he ranked first with 57% of the vote, ahead of Democrat John Hernandez – the head of the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – and Fresno city councilman Blong Xiong.[9] In the November 6 election, he defeated Hernandez by a margin of 58%–42%.[10] His campaign victory in a district that had long been held by Democrats was cited in an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal as a potential template for the GOP, while other analysts cited his opponent's "weakness as a candidate and a campaigner" as playing a major role.[11]


Valadao ran for reelection in November 2014. His challengers were Democrat Amanda Renteria, a former political aide for Dianne Feinstein and Debbie Stabenow,[12] and John Hernandez, the Democratic nominee whom he defeated in 2012.[13] In the June 3 primary, he ranked first once again with 63% of the vote, and received majorities of 60% or higher in every county except for Kern. In the November 4 general election, Valadao won reelection to his second term with nearly 60% of the vote.[14]


Valadao is running for reelection in November of 2016, for his third full term. His first challenger was Democrat Daniel Parra, the Mayor Pro Tem of Fowler, California.[15] Another Democratic challenger was Connie Perez, an accountant in Pasadena, California who grew up in Tulare; however, due to issues regarding her residency outside of the district, as well as an alleged recent change in party affiliation, Perez dropped out less than a month after announcing her candidacy.[16][17] In January of 2016, Emilio Huerta - son of United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta - announced his candidacy for the race as a Democrat.[18]


Valadao was one of the first House Republicans to split with his party's official position and publicly fight for comprehensive immigration reform.[2] In August 2014, Valadao broke ranks with the Republican Party and voted against a bill that would have dismantled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.[19]

In July 2013, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an ethics complaint against Valadao for allegedly failing to disclose the impact that his opposition to proposed high-speed rail routes would have on the value of Valadao Dairy properties.[20][21] In November 2013, the Office of Congressional Ethics voted 6-0 to recommend that the House Ethics Committee dismiss the allegation “because there is not a substantial reason to believe that a violation of House rules and standards of conduct occurred.” In February 2014, the House Ethics Committee formally dismissed the complaint.[22]

In September 2013, in response to threats of a government shutdown over defunding of the Affordable Care Act, Valadao cosponsored the Government Shutdown Fairness Act, which would prevent all members of Congress from receiving their salaries if a shutdown occurred.[23] Valadao himself is the poorest member of Congress, with over $12 million in loans to his family's dairy farm.[24]

The Fresno Bee reported in September 2013 that "Valadao was one of only 15 House Republicans to vote against a GOP bill that makes deep cuts in food stamp spending."[25]

On July 31, 2014, Valadao, along with Stevan Pearce of New Mexico, co-sponsored H.R. 5328 by representative Mike Coffman of Colorado, which aimed at prohibiting application of preexisting condition exclusions, under the Public Health Service Act.[26]

In August 2014, the United States Chamber of Commerce awarded Valadao its Spirit of Enterprise Award.[2] Valadao won the same award again less than two years later, in March of 2016.[27]

In September 2014, Valadao formally invited Vice President Joe Biden to come to the valley and survey the damage caused by a severe drought. Instead, Biden came on October 7 to hold a fundraising rally for Valadao's opponent, Amanda Renteria.[28][29] Throughout 2015, one of Valadao's top initiatives in the House has been to combat the effects of the drought and introduce policies of water conservation in California. On June 25, 2015, Valadao introduced the bill H.R. 2898, the "Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015," to the House floor in response to such measures.[30][31]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

California's 30th State Assembly district, 2010 (Republican primary):[5]

  • David Valadao – 11,296 (78%)
  • Stephanie Campbell – 3,213 (22%)

California's 30th State Assembly district, 2010[6]

  • David Valadao – 37,392 (61%)
  • Fran Florez – 24,386 (39%)

California's 21st congressional district, 2012 (Republican primary):

  • David Valadao – 27,251 (57%)

California's 21st congressional district, 2012:

  • David Valadao – 49,205 (60%)
  • John Hernandez – 32,967 (40%)

California's 21st congressional district, 2014 (Republican primary):

  • David Valadao – 28,773 (63%)

California's 21st congressional district, 2014:

Personal life

Valadao lives in Hanford with his wife, Terra, and their three children.[3]


  1. Finnegan, Michael (3 September 2014). "How the California GOP Can Benefit from Low Voter Turnout". Governing Magazine. Retrieved 4 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Joseph, Cameron (2014-08-25). "Chamber gives pro-immigration Rep. Valadao its top award". The Hill. Retrieved 4 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "About David". Valadao for Congress. Retrieved 24 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/30/?p=bio
  5. 5.0 5.1 Our Campaigns – CA State Assembly 30- R Primary Race – Jun 08, 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 Our Campaigns – CA State Assembly 30 Race – Nov 02, 2010
  7. Wenner, Gretchen (3 November 2011). "Florez loss bucks state trend". Bakersfield Californian. Retrieved 24 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Nidever, Seth (2 August 2011). "Valadao says he's running for Congress". Hanford Sentinel. Retrieved 24 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Our Campaigns – CA – District 21 – Open Primary Race – Jun 05, 2012
  10. Our Campaigns – CA – District 21 Race – Nov 06, 2012
  11. Nidever, Seth (23 November 2012). "Valadao win a 'template' for GOP?". Hanford Sentinel. Retrieved 30 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Valadao, Vidak, Cannella off to strong fundraising start | Elections | FresnoBee.com
  13. Election notebook: GOP releases poll showing Valadao well ahead – BakersfieldCalifornian.com
  14. http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/us-rep/district/21/
  15. Cahn, Emily (April 6, 2015). "Democrat Announces Bid Against Valadao in California". Roll Call. Retrieved November 3, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Ellis, John (October 9, 2015). "Tulare County native Connie Perez enters 21st Congressional race". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved November 3, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Perez drops out of 21st race". Central Valley Observer. November 3, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Panzar, Javier (January 6, 2016). "Emilio Huerta, son of labor icon, jumps into Central Valley congressional race". LA Times. Retrieved May 1, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Foley, Elise (1 August 2014). "House Votes To Strip Deportation Relief From Dreamers". Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Sheehan, Tim (July 23, 2013). "Watchdog questions ethics of Valadao's opposition to high-speed rail". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved August 7, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "CREW Renews Request for OCE to Investigate Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)". Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. January 27, 2014. Archived from the original on February 10, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Ellis, John (2014-02-21). "Group's high-speed rail ethics complaint against Valadao dismissed". Fresno Bee. Retrieved 26 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Rep. Valadao Cosponsors Government Shutdown Fairness Act | Congressman David Valadao
  24. Majority of Congress members now millionaires – Jan. 9, 2014
  25. Doyle, Michael (2013-09-29). "Congressional hopeful Amanda Renteria wants to give Valley 'a strong voice'". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved 28 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/2014/08/07/rep-coffman-introduces-bill-to-prohibit-application-of-preexisting-condition-ex-a-541139.html#.U-RAe47BHFJ
  27. http://valadao.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398143
  28. http://valadao.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394428
  29. http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Details-for-Vice-President-Bidens-Oct-7-visit-announced-tickets-required-277696251.html
  30. http://www.Valadao.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398031
  31. http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/mornings/Rep-David-Valadao-on-drought-SCOTUS-decisions-310683261.html?tab=video&c=y

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Devin Nunes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 21st congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mark Takano
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Juan Vargas