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Republicans picked up another win on Tuesday, giving the party a wider majority in the House. Reports noted that Rep. David Valadao is officially the winner in California’s 22nd Congressional District, making him one of just a handful of GOP lawmakers in the Golden State’s Democrat-heavy delegation.
He defeated Democrat Rudy Salas by 3,358 votes (51,777-48,419), winning by a 3.6-point margin (51.68%-48.32%), Newsmax reported. His victory gives Republicans 220 seats to 211 for Democrats, a nine-seat advantage, which is still considered a narrow margin but enough to move some legislation. Also, any majority hands control of the chamber over to the GOP.
Still, there are four races outstanding, all of them too close to call at the moment, the outlet reported. Valadao’s race “took almost two weeks to be decided due to California’s mass mail-in balloting and legalized ballot harvesting laws,” the outlet reported.
Republicans lead in two of the remaining razor-thin races, including Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, whose race is now headed for a state-mandated recount though her Democratic opponent has conceded. In addition, Republican John Duarte has a small lead in California’s newly redrawn 15th Congressional District.
“The other two races remain stuck in ranked-choice voting limbo in Alaska and Maine,” Newsmax added. “If both of the GOP leads hold, Republicans will have at least a 222-213 majority come January.”
Valadao was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He is one of two GOP lawmakers who remain in Congress following their vote, the other being Rep. Dan Newhouse in Washington state.
Trump announced shortly after the midterm elections on Nov. 8 that he would once again seek the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.
“America’s comeback starts right now,” Trump said to a room full of supporters at Mar-a-Lago last week. “Unlike other presidents, I kept my promises.”
“The world was at peace, America was prospering, and our country was on track for an amazing future— because I made big promises to the American People and, unlike other Presidents, I kept my promises,” he said. “Under our leadership, we were a great and glorious nation, something you haven’t heard for quite a long period of time. We were a strong nation, and importantly we were a free nation. Now, we are a nation in decline. We are a failing nation.”
Trump declared: “I am tonight again announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”
When asked by reporters who he would pick as his running mate, Trump said, “I’ll let you know very soon.”
No other Republican has declared their 2024 presidential candidacy, but one name did surface to the top last weekend – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who finished second behind Trump in 2016.
Cruz said that he plans to run for reelection in the Lone Star state in two years, but he is still keeping his presidential ambitions open less than a week after Trump announced his intent to seek the nomination.
Cruz, who was reportedly well received at the event, made his remarks at the annual conference of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which traditionally has marked the beginning of the GOP nomination process. The announcement came four days after Trump said he would run again.
He finished his speech by discussing his tough 2018 reelection battle and sought donations for his 2024 reelection bid, the Washington Examiner reported.
In a press conference following his speech, Cruz reiterated that he would seek a third Senate term.
“I’m running for reelection in the Senate. I’m focused on the battles in the United States Senate,” Cruz told reporters. “We need to stand and fight against these policies that are inflicting so much harm on Americans across this country.”
But at the same time, he did not entirely rule out a presidential run.
“You can consider whatever you like,” Cruz said after a reporter asked if running for reelection means he shouldn’t be considered a presidential contender any longer. “There will be plenty of time to discuss 2024 presidential. I get that that is a lot of fun in the media to do. There will be plenty of time for that.”