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HANFORD – Congressman David Valadao (R-Hanford) conceded Thursday in the race for California’s 21st Congressional District.

Valadao, who had represented the district for six years over three terms, went head-to-head with Democrat challenger TJ Cox, an engineer and small businessman from Fresno, in the Nov. 6 midterm election.

Congressional District 21 covers all of Kings County and parts of Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties.

Now that the four counties in California’s 21st Congressional District have finished counting ballots, Cox leads by 862 votes. Districtwide, Cox garnered 57,239 votes (50.4 percent) and Valadao received 56,377 votes (49.6 percent) of the 113,616 total votes.

The race for Congressional District 21 was one of the last contested races in the country.

Valadao won in Kings County (61.8 percent of the 30,291 total votes), Fresno County (50.7 percent of the 40,394 total votes) and Tulare County (52.7 percent of the total 3,747 total votes).

However, Cox was able to secure 23,988 votes (61.2 percent) over Valadao’s 15,196 votes (38.8 percent) in Kern County. Kern County, which heavily favors Democratic voter registration, counted 39,184 total votes in the race.

After calling Cox to congratulate him on the win, Valadao released the following statement:

“Representing the Central Valley in Congress has been the honor of a lifetime. There are truly no words to express how grateful I am to my supporters, neighbors, and all those who make the Central Valley such an amazing place.

“There is no doubt we are disappointed in the results, but we can take pride in knowing that we brought about real, tangible change. We have reduced taxes for middle class families, made huge strides in our battle for water, reformed the dairy industry for thousands of California farmers, improved access to healthcare for families throughout the Valley, and given our troops the support they deserve.

“Despite the outcome of this election, we must remain deliberate in our efforts to improve our community. There is always work to be completed and I can’t wait to see what else our community can accomplish.

“The Central Valley has always been and will always be my home and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to have served the place I love.”

Representative-elect Cox also released a statement, thanking Valadao for his service:

“I thanked Congressman Valadao and his family for their service to our country and our communities during the past six years. As the congressman knows well, it is a great honor to be chosen to represent the people of the 21st District in the House of Representatives. We will work together to ensure a smooth transition for our constituents. I’m looking forward to getting to work on making a positive difference in the lives of our hard-working families.”

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News Reporter

News reporter for The Sentinel

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