The House Democrats’ most prominent super PAC is elevating an election-denying “Trump conservative” on TV in a key House primary in central California.
The super PAC, House Majority PAC, funds a 30 second TV commercial promoting Chris Mathys, a right-wing challenger taking on Rep. David Valadao, a more moderate Republican running in California’s 22nd congressional district. Mathys, a financier and breedermade of Valadao january vote to impeach then-President Donald Trump, master piece of his race.
Comparing the two Republicans to tin cans with the same partisan “label,” the House Majority PAC goes on to point out the differences in the candidates’ ideological “ingredients” in hopes of turning right-wing GOP primary voters against Valadao and to Mathys.
“David Valadao claims he’s a Republican – yet David Valadao voted to impeach President Trump,” the narrator says. “Yes, Valadao voted to impeach President Trump. »
National Democrats, who see winning the Central Valley seat as a crucial opportunity, would prefer Democrat Rudy Salas, a state assemblyman backed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, ran against Mathys than a less polarizing starter like Valadao. House Majority PAC, which is tied to House Democratic leaders, had spent over $275,000 to help elect Salas from Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Leadership Fund―the House Majority PAC’s Republican counterpart―has invested in bolstering Valadao. The GOP group spent nearly $500,000 trying to stop Mathys from overtaking Valadao.
In California’s nonpartisan “jungle” primary elections, which are due to conclude on Tuesday, the top two voters from all political parties head to the general election. As a result, Salas, Valadao, Mathys and other candidates are all vying for one of two spots in the November ballot.
The House Majority PAC’s intervention on behalf of Mathys is the latest example of Democrats trying to uplift “ultra-MAGA” Republicans in hopes of making the most of an unfavorable national environment.
This mirrors the approach taken by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in his Democratic run for governor. Facing a crowded field of potential GOP candidates, Shapiro chose to oppose State Sen. Doug Mastriano, a right-wing Holocaust denier, underscoring the Republican’s ties to Trump.
Mastriano, who believes the 2020 presidential election was stolen and entered the U.S. Capitol during the January 6, 2021 riot, ended up winning the GOP gubernatorial nomination by a landslide.
Some Democrats worry, however, that in what is shaping up to be a Republican wave year, helping figures like Mastriano is a gamble. If elected governor of a key swing state, Mastriano could overrule or interfere with the results of the 2024 presidential election.
When asked if the House Majority PAC’s efforts to boost Mathys also risked paving the way for Mathys to go to Washington, super PAC spokesperson CJ Warnke argued in a statement that This was not the case.
“Assemblyman Rudy Salas is the fighter Californians need in the 22nd District, and House Majority PAC strongly believes that come November, Salas will rock this district blue, no matter who the MAGA Republicans appoint Tuesday. “said Warnke.
It’s not hard to see, however, why the Democrats would rather face off against a more extreme Republican than Valadao.
Valadao has a reputation for distinguishing itself from the National Republican Party in the eyes of voters.
Democrats flipped him in 2018 to return him to his current seat, California’s 21st congressional district, in 2020. Although President Joe Biden lifted California’s 21st by more than 10 percentage points, Valadao still has prevailed with a very slim margin.
Raising Mathys is a “smart move,” said Mike Mikus, a Pittsburgh-based Democratic strategist. “In this type of environment, you have to take risks. »
Additionally, California’s new 22nd District is slightly more Democratic than the current seat of Valadao. This makes a general election victory for Mathys quite unlikely. And as a congressman, rather than a governor, Mathys would have less influence over election administration, Mikus noted.
“If a weirdo wins a House seat in a district like this, in a Republican wave year, it’s not as damaging,” Mikus said. “He is one of 435 people. »