Key 2024 California House Races to Keep an Eye On, Including Valadao’s Seat



The upcoming House of Representatives races in California are pivotal as they may determine control of Congress. Amid intraparty conflicts and California’s open primary rules, Republicans may secure a seat in a Central Valley district. California, the most populous U.S. state, is expected to have 10 out of the 72 most competitive House races in the country, according to the Cook Political Report.

Key House Races to Watch in California Primaries

In the upcoming California election, the battle for control of the House of Representatives is crucial with competitive House races potentially providing a glimpse into which party will hold Congress come November.

A Republican victory could be possible in the Central Valley District due to internal Democratic conflicts and California’s open primary rules. The state, being the most populous in the U.S, has an estimated 10 highly contested House races according to the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. Currently, Republicans hold a slim 219-213 majority in the House.

California’s electoral volatility has made it a continuous battleground where heavy expenditure is commonplace each election cycle. This is largely down to the fluctuating party balance in House races. In some cases, the same candidates from 2022 are contesting again, bolstered by their previous exposure which has increased their name recognition.

Due to California’s lengthy counting process and heavy reliance on mail ballots, the outcome of closely contested races may not be known for days or even weeks. That said, here are some of the key California House races to monitor:

22nd Congressional District

Despite Democrats having a voter registration advantage in this district, Republicans could secure a battleground seat in Tuesday’s election. Representative David Valadao, a Republican, is vulnerable in his Central Valley district, but a Democratic intraparty fight may split the vote allowing Valadao and another Republican, Chris Mathys, to emerge as the top two.

13th Congressional District

This Central Valley district race is set to feature a rematch of the close contest of 2022 between the Republican incumbent, Representative John Duarte, and former Democratic state lawmaker, Adam C. Gray.

47th Congressional District

This district is currently without an incumbent following progressive Democrat Katie Porter’s decision to run for Senate. The vacant seat is now contested by Scott Baugh, a local Republican Party official and law firm owner, and several other Democrats.

40th Congressional District

Incumbent Representative Young Kim, a second-term Republican, faces challenges from two Democrats: Joe Kerr, a retired fire captain, and Allyson Muñiz Damikolas, a school board member. Despite Cook Political Report labelling Kim’s seat “likely Republican”, Democrats still view the district as potentially flippable.

41st Congressional District

This district is likely to see a November rematch between incumbent Republican Representative Ken Calvert and gay Democrat Will Rollins, a former federal prosecutor. Both parties are already investing heavily in this race, which the Cook Political Report has termed a tossup.

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