Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2012, 1st term.

Born: April 14, 1977, Hanford

Home: Hanford

Education: College of the Sequoias, attended 1996-98

Professional Career: Partner, Valadao Dairy, 1992-present

Ethnicity: Hispanic/Latino

Religion: Catholic

Family: Married (Terra Valadao) , 3 children

Former Republican state Assembly member David Valadao, a third-generation farmer and dairy farmer of Portuguese descent, won the new 21st District seat over Democrat John Hernandez with a message that he better understood the area’s agricultural issues.

Valadao’s father emigrated to California from Portugal’s Azores Islands and started a small dairy farm in Kings County in 1969. When Valadao was 8 years old, the family moved to Hanford. In an interview with National Journal, he recalled riding in the car with his parents the day that all three voted for the first time. He was 18 and a registered Republican; his parents, who became naturalized citizens, were Democrats, although they eventually switched parties. Valadao worked on the family’s farm, driving the tractor that carried feed for the animals and handling contracts and purchases. He attended the College of the Sequoias for two and half years on a part-time basis but did not graduate. The single political science class he took “piqued my interest in politics, but I never considered running for office,” he said. In 1992, he became a partner in Valadao Dairy with his brother.

His appetite for politics was whetted when he was elected regional leadership council chairman of Land O’Lakes, a member-owned agricultural cooperative. Valadao began traveling to Sacramento and Washington, where he addressed elected officials and groups on issues affecting dairy farmers, such as his region’s aging water infrastructure. “The more I got involved in dairy and agricultural issues, the more I saw how much of an importance government and policies play in our lives,” he said. He later became involved with the California Milk Advisory Board and the Western States Dairy Trade Association.

In 2010, Valadao was elected in the Assembly’s 30th District. He successfully sponsored legislation that called for eliminating millions of dollars in state funding to subsidize the production of corn-based ethanol. During Valadao’s first year, he also got a bill passed that placed restrictions on people with criminal convictions who care for the elderly or disabled.

In the race for the U.S. House seat, Valadao got an early advantage over the Democrats, raising more than $400,000 in 2011. He finished first in the state’s all-party primary, winning 57% of the vote, while Hernandez came in second with 23%, setting up a general election battle between the top two finishers. As the head of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hernandez hoped he could make inroads with Latino voters. But he had the disadvantage of not living in the district. The Bakersfield Californian endorsed Valadao, saying that the district’s constituents “deserve a representative who has been tested politically a little more.”

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4695

(202) 225-3196

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1004
Washington, DC 20515-0521

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4695

(202) 225-3196

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1004
Washington, DC 20515-0521

DISTRICT OFFICE

(559) 582-5526

(559) 582-5527

101 North Irwin Street Suite 110B
Hanford, CA 93230

DISTRICT OFFICE

(559) 582-5526

(559) 582-5527

101 North Irwin Street Suite 110B
Hanford, CA 93230

DISTRICT OFFICE

(661) 864-7736

(559) 582-5527

2700 M Street Suite 250B
Bakersfield, CA 93301

DISTRICT OFFICE

(661) 864-7736

(559) 582-5527

2700 M Street Suite 250B
Bakersfield, CA 93301

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

5132 North Palm Avenue Unit 227
Fresno, CA 93704

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(559) 639-7262

5132 North Palm Avenue Unit 227
Fresno, CA 93704

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Molly Harris
Scheduler

Agriculture

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Animal Rights

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Appropriations

Cole Rojewski
Chief of Staff

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Anna Vetter
Communications Director

Budget

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Commerce

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Crime

Andrew Renteria
Legislative Assistant

Economics

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Education

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Cole Rojewski
Chief of Staff

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Environment

Cole Rojewski
Chief of Staff

Andrew Renteria
Legislative Assistant

Family

Molly Harris
Scheduler

Finance

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Anna Vetter
Communications Director

Foreign

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Molly Harris
Scheduler

Gun Issues

Molly Harris
Scheduler

Health

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Anna Vetter
Communications Director

Andrew Renteria
Legislative Assistant

Housing

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Molly Harris
Scheduler

Immigration

Anna Vetter
Communications Director

Andrew Renteria
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Molly Harris
Scheduler

Labor

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Land Use

Cole Rojewski
Chief of Staff

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Medicare

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Military

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Cole Rojewski
Chief of Staff

Science

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Molly Harris
Scheduler

Small Business

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Tax

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Trade

Kristina Dunklin
Legislative Director

Transportation

Molly Harris
Scheduler

Urban Affairs

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Scott Nemeth
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
David Valadao
Votes: 67,164
Percent: 57.76%
John Hernandez
Votes: 49,119
Percent: 42.24%
2012 PRIMARY
David Valadao
Votes: 27,251
Percent: 56.99%
John Hernandez
Votes: 10,575
Percent: 22.12%
Blong Xiong
Votes: 9,990
Percent: 20.89%

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