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Why A Democratic Super PAC Is Promoting A Pro-Trump Election Denier In California


House Democrats’ most vital super PAC is elevating an election-denying, “Trump conservative” on the tv airwaves in a key House primary in central California.

The super PAC, House Majority PAC, is funding a 30-second TV commercial promoting Chris Mathys, a right-wing challenger taking up Rep. David Valadao, a more moderate Republican running in California’s twenty second Congressional District. Mathys, a financier and rancher, has made Valadao’s January vote to question then-President Donald Trump the centerpiece of his run.

Likening the 2 Republicans to cans of food with the identical partisan “label,” House Majority PAC goes on to spotlight differences within the candidates’ ideological “ingredients” within the hopes of turning right-leaning GOP primary voters against Valadao and toward Mathys.

“David Valadao claims he’s Republican ― yet, David Valadao voted to question President Trump,” the narrator says. “Yeah, Valadao voted to question President Trump.”

National Democrats, who see winning the Central Valley seat as a critical opportunity, would slightly have Democrat Rudy Salas, a state assemblyman backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, run against Mathys than a less-polarizing incumbent like Valadao. House Majority PAC, which is tied to House Democratic leaders, had spent greater than $275,000 to assist elect Salas as of Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Leadership Fund ― House Majority PAC’s Republican counterpart ― has invested in shoring up Valadao. The GOP group has spent nearly $500,000 trying to forestall Mathys from overtaking Valadao.

In California’s nonpartisan “jungle” primary election ― on account of conclude this Tuesday ― the highest two vote-getters from any political party proceed to the overall election. In consequence, Salas, Valadao, Mathys and other candidates are all vying for one in all two slots on the November ballot.

California Assemblyman Rudy Salas is Democrats’ pick to flip a district within the Central Valley.

Wealthy Pedroncelli/Associated Press

House Majority PAC’s intervention on Mathys’s behalf is the most recent example of Democrats attempting to elevate “ultra-MAGA” Republicans within the hopes of profiting from an unfavorable national environment.

It mirrors the approach that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has taken in his Democratic run for governor. Facing a crowded field of potential GOP contenders, Shapiro selected to contrast himself with state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a right-wing election denier, emphasizing the Republican’s ties to Trump.

Mastriano, who believes the 2020 presidential election was stolen and who entered the U.S. Capitol throughout the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, ended up winning the GOP gubernatorial nomination by a landslide.

Some Democrats worry, nevertheless, that in what’s shaping as much as be a Republican wave 12 months, assisting figures like Mastriano is a big gamble. If elected governor of a key swing state, Mastriano could overturn, or otherwise meddle with, the 2024 presidential election results.

Asked whether House Majority PAC’s effort to spice up Mathys likewise risked clearing a path for Mathys to go to Washington, C.J. Warnke, a spokesperson for the super PAC, maintained in an announcement that it didn’t.

“Assemblymember Rudy Salas is the fighter Californians need within the twenty second district, and House Majority PAC feels strongly that come November, Salas will flip this district blue regardless of who MAGA Republicans nominate on Tuesday,” Warnke said.

It’s not hard, nevertheless, to see why Democrats would favor to face a more extreme Republican than Valadao.

Valadao has a record of distinguishing himself from the national Republican Party within the eyes of voters.

Democrats unseated him in 2018 only to have him retake his current seat, California’s twenty first Congressional District, in 2020. Although President Joe Biden carried California’s twenty first by greater than 10 percentage points, Valadao still prevailed by a razor-thin margin.

Elevating Mathys is a “smart move,” said Mike Mikus, a Pittsburgh-based Democratic strategist. “In this sort of environment, you might have to take risks.”

What’s more, California’s latest twenty second District is barely more Democratic than Valadao’s current seat. That makes a general-election victory for Mathys quite unlikely. And as a member of Congress, slightly than a governor, Mathys would have less influence over the administration of elections, Mikus noted.

“If a crackpot wins a House seat in a district like this, in a Republican wave 12 months, it’s not as damaging,” Mikus said. “It’s one in all 435 people.”

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