California's 21st Congressional District elections, 2014

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U.S. House, California District 21 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Valadao Incumbent 57.8% 45,907
     Democratic Amanda Renteria 42.2% 33,470
Total Votes 79,377
Source: California Secretary of State



California's 21st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
June 3, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
David Valadao Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
David Valadao Republican Party
David Valadao.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Lean R[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Lean R[2]

California U.S. House Elections
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2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of California.png
The 21st Congressional District of California held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014.

Incumbent David Valadao (R) defeated Amanda Renteria (D) by nearly 20 percentage points in a race that many expected to be competitive.[3]

Ballotpedia identified California's 21st Congressional District as a 2014 battleground race because Valadao, a freshman, Republican incumbent, was seeking re-election in a district that leaned Democratic.[4][5] President Barack Obama also won the district by 11.1 percent in 2012 and 6 percent in 2008.

On the campaign trail, each candidate highlighted their ties to the district and farming. Valadao frequently noted that his parents were Portuguese immigrants and discussed his family's dairy farms. Valadao's campaign labeled Renteria a "carpetbagger" for leaving the district and accused her of only moving back so that she could run for Congress.

To counter the accusation, Renteria frequently shared stories about her parents, "who were migrant farmworkers in the Central Valley."[6] Renteria attempted to portray Valadao as one more Republican vote in an ineffective Congress. During a debate Renteria said, "This is the least productive Congress ever, nothing is getting done."[7]

Ultimately, high Republican turnout and Valadao's ties to agriculture and the large Hispanic community helped him win in this Democratic-leaning district. According to NPR, "Many farmers and big agricultural companies here that tend to lean Republican are in a full-court press lobbying Congress to pass the stalled immigration bill. It's one of the reasons Valadao is seen as a clear front-runner even in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans."[6][8]

Renteria was considered a strong candidate, and after her defeat some political pundits wondered if Valadao could "ever be beaten in the 21st Congressional District," according to the Fresno Bee.[9]

Political analyst Tony Quinn said, “I do think that, probably, Valadao is almost unassailable."[9]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 7, 2014
June 3, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: California is one of three states to use a blanket primary, or top-two system, which allows all candidates to run and all voters to vote but only moves the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the general election.[10][11][12]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by May 19, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 20, 2014 (the 15th calendar day before that election).[13]

See also: California elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was David Valadao (R), who was first elected in 2012.

California's 21st Congressional District is located in the south-central portion of the state and includes Kings County and parts of Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties.[14]


General election candidates

Republican Party David Valadao Green check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Amanda Renteria

June 3, 2014, primary results

Republican Party David Valadao - Incumbent Approveda
Democratic Party Amanda Renteria[15] Approveda
Democratic Party John Hernandez[16]

Election results

General election

U.S. House, California District 21 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Valadao Incumbent 57.8% 45,907
     Democratic Amanda Renteria 42.2% 33,470
Total Votes 79,377
Source: California Secretary of State

Primary election

U.S. House, California District 21 Primary, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Valadao Incumbent 63% 28,773
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngAmanda Renteria 25.6% 11,682
     Democratic John Hernandez 11.5% 5,232
Total Votes 45,687
Source: California Secretary of State


David Valadao vs. Amanda Renteria
Poll David Valadao Amanda RenteriaUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
SurveyUSA (October 15-20, 2014)
SurveyUSA (September 3-8, 2014)
AVERAGES 51.5% 39.5% 9% +/-4.5 496.5
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to



SEIU launched an ad campaign on July 15, 2014, targeting four Republican incumbents in the U.S. House over their chamber’s inaction on immigration reform in 2014.

The ad campaign targeted Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman of Colorado, Valadao of California and Joe Heck of Nevada with a round of Spanish-language television ads for about two weeks. The ad buy was in the mid-six figures.[17]

Amanda Renteria

Renteria released a pair of TV ads in May 2014, one in English and one in Spanish.[18]


See also: Energy and the 2014 election: the ballots and beyond

David Valadao

Valadao's campaign website listed the following issues:[19]

  • Jobs and the Economy: "Too many Americans are out of work, especially across California’s 21st Congressional District. The unemployment rate in the San Joaquin Valley rests at approximately 17% with many areas exceeding an outrageous unemployment rate of 32%. David knows that needless regulations kill jobs and increased taxes hurt small businesses, the backbone of our nation’s economy. He is working to pass common sense legislation that will put Americans, especially those in the Central Valley, back to work."
  • Water: "In the Central Valley, life as we know it is dependent upon securing a reliable and clean supply of water. Farmers, families, and entire communities must receive the water they need to strengthen the economy and raise our families. David knows that a safe and stable water supply is critical to the Central Valley and the State’s $35 billion agriculture industry. In Congress, he is fighting to address our local needs during the drought. The passage of his bill, H.R. 3964, The San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act, will help bring relief to the Central Valley."
  • Agriculture: "As a dairy farmer and a Member of the powerful House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, California’s agriculture industry is extremely important to David. David knows what it takes to ensure California remains an agricultural superpower. California’s diverse agricultural economy is a $35 billion dollar industry that produces over 400 commodities and accounts for over a half of our nation’s fruits and vegetables. It is important that we ensure our farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to produce our food supply and that they continue to remain competitive internationally."
  • Education: "As the father of three, one of David’s top priorities is ensuring every child has access to a quality, affordable education. He knows the “one-size-fits-all” approach of Washington bureaucrats only hinders the education of our nation’s children. Parents and educators should have the resources and flexibility to provide an education that meet the needs of their community and each individual student. Education should be more comprehensive at all levels and David supports expanding vocational and trade school options for our students."
  • Spending: "David believes that Washington should live by the same rules as every American family, which means they must balance the budget and spend no more than what they take in. Today’s government spends, borrows, and taxes its people too much. Our national debt has surpassed $17 trillion, nearly $53,000 for every man woman and child in America. David strongly opposes wasteful projects, such as the construction of a high-speed rail system throughout California which will cost tax payers billions of dollars with little added benefit."


—David Valadao's campaign website,

Key votes

Below are important votes the Valadao cast during the 113th Congress.

HR 676

See also: Boehner's lawsuit against the Obama administration

Yea3.png On July 30, 2014, the U.S. House approved a resolution 225 to 201 to sue President Barack Obama for exceeding his constitutional authority. Five Republicans--Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Paul Broun of Georgia, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Walter Jones of North Carolina and Steve Stockman of Texas-- voted with Democrats against the lawsuit.[21] Valadao joined the other 224 Republicans in favor of the lawsuit. All Democrats voted against the resolution.[22][23]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Yea3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[24] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[25] David Valadao voted for the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[26]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[27] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. David Valadao voted for HR 2775.[28]

Campaign contributions

David Valadao

David Valadao (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[29]April 15, 2013$134,784.29$88,403.65$(86,386.36)$136,801.58
July Quarterly[30]July 15, 2013$136,801.58$375,691.29$(63,678.14)$448,814.73
October Quarterly[31]October 15, 2013$448,814.73$244,836.64$(108,810.82)$584,840.55
Year-End[32]January 31, 2014$584,840$232,646$(140,952)$676,734
April Quarterly[33]April 15, 2014$676,734$341,769$(166,419)$852,084
Pre-Primary[34]May 22, 2014$852,084$193,934$(78,891)$967,127
July Quarterly[35]July 15, 2014$967,127$358,754$(86,244)$1,239,637
October Quarterly[36]October 15, 2014$1,239,637$546,775$(645,315)$1,141,098
Pre-General[37]October 23, 2014$1,141,098$119,135$(497,648)$762,584
Running totals

Amanda Renteria

Amanda Renteria (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year-End[38]January 31, 2014$0$337,992$(81,255)$256,737
April Quarterly[39]April 15, 2014$256,737$303,468$(136,239)$423,965
Pre-Primary[40]May 22, 2014$423,965$112,525$(207,687)$328,803
July Quarterly[41]July 15, 2014$328,803$289,916$(221,821)$396,898
October Quarterly[42]October 15, 2014$396,898$397,840$(360,903)$433,835
Pre-General[43]October 23, 2014$433,835$78,310$(248,700)$263,445
Running totals

John Hernandez

John Hernandez (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[44]April 18, 2014$0$6,894$(9,202)$-2,307
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


On November 6, 2012, David G. Valadao (R) won election to the United States House. He defeated John Hernandez in the general election.

U.S. House, California District 21 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid G. Valadao 57.8% 67,164
     Democratic John Hernandez 42.2% 49,119
Total Votes 116,283
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On November 2, 2010, Devin Nunes won re-election to the United States House. He ran unopposed in the general election.[45]

U.S. House, California District 21 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDevin Nunes incumbent 100% 135,979
Total Votes 135,979

See also

External links


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR June 26, 2014," accessed July 28, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed July 28, 2014
  3. The Huffington Post, "Election 2014," November 4, 2014
  4. FairVote, "FairVote Releases Projections for the 2014 Congressional Elections," accessed November 5, 2013
  5. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed April 4, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 NPR, "Identity Politics Center Stage In California's Central Valley Campaign," accessed December 9, 2014
  7., "No clear winner in Valadao, Renteria debate," accessed December 10, 2014
  8. Hartford Sentinel, "Analysis: Kings’ passion the difference in Valadao-Renteria matchup," accessed December 10, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Fresno Bee, "After dominating Renteria, some say Valadao may be unbeatable in 21st Congressional District," accessed December 9, 2014
  10. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  11. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  12. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  13. California Secretary of State Website, "Voter Registration," accessed January 3, 2014
  14. California Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed September 25, 2012
  15. Roll Call, "Democrats Ready to Land Recruit in Elusive California District," September 18, 2013
  16. The Fresno Bee, "Political notebook: John Hernandez to seek rematch with David Valadao," October 11, 2013
  17. Politico, "Service Employees International Union targets four House Republicans," accessed July 15, 2014
  18. National Journal, "Latina Democratic House Candidate Releases Spanish, English TV Ads in California," accessed May 7, 2014
  19. Campaign website, "Issues," accessed September 12, 2014
  20. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  21. U.S. House, "House Resolution 676," accessed July 30, 2014
  22. Yahoo News, "Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead," accessed July 30, 2014
  23. Washington Post, "House clears way for lawsuit against Obama," accessed July 30, 2014
  24. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  26. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  27. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  28. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  29. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao April Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  30. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao October Quarterly," accessed October 21, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao Year-End," accessed February 4, 2014
  33. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  34. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao Pre-Primary," accessed June 2, 2014
  35. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao July Quarterly," accessed July 23, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao October Quarterly," accessed October 20, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "David Valadao Pre-General," accessed November 24, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Amanda Renteria Year-End," accessed February 10, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Amanda Renteria April Quarterly," accessed May 5, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Amanda Renteria Pre-Primary," accessed June 2, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Amanda Renteria July Quarterly," accessed July 28, 2014
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Amanda Renteria October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Amanda Renteria Pre-General," accessed November 24, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "John Hernandez April Quarterly," accessed May 5, 2014
  45. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013