A San Joaquin Valley Republican trying to return to Congress raising more money for a 2020 campaign than the Democrat who defeated him last year.
Former Rep. David Valadao, raised about $540,000 in the first campaign finance reporting period since he announced his intent to challenge incumbent Rep. TJ Cox, D-Fresno. Cox raised $450,000 in the third quarter of this year, according to third quarter campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Cox in 2018 was one of seven Democrats who flipped Republican-held seats in California. He defeated Valadao by fewer than 1,000 votes.
Valadao has already received donations from Republican members of Congress.
“I think Valadao is the most likely Republican to win back his seat in California, and that kind of quarter is a good boost,” said Rob Stutzman, a Sacramento-based GOP strategist. “He’s off to a good start.”
Although Valadao raised more money than Cox in the most recent reporting period, Cox has has more cash on hand for the campaign. Cox has about $650,000 to Valadao’s $540,000.
“TJ’s campaign has just had its best quarter of the year thanks to strong grassroots support,” the campaign said in a statement. “His fight for the Central Valley has made him a target for Washington special interests who’d rather have a rubber stamp for Donald Trump in Congress, but TJ’s already delivering for the Central Valley on issues like providing relief to family farms and communities from Firebaugh to Arvin are taking notice.”