POLITICS

GOP representative from Latino district facing re-election battle won't back Trump

UNITED STATES - JULY 14: Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., participates in the House GOP leadership media availability following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

UNITED STATES - JULY 14: Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., participates in the House GOP leadership media availability following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)  (© 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.)

With a district that is 71 percent Latino, there is just no way that Republican U.S. Rep. David Valadao can get behind Donald Trump’s candidacy for president.

While the representative for California’s 21st district, which is centered in the San Joaquin Valley, has avoided for months talking about whom he would support for president, Valadao has stated that he plans to sit out this presidential election.

"I am disappointed with the divisive rhetoric coming from this presidential election and cannot support either candidate,” he explained in a written statement. “I cannot back a candidate who denigrates people based on their ethnicity, religion or disabilities. I stand ready to work with our next president, regardless of who the American people elect, on critical issues impacting families in my district by working to bring water and jobs to the Valley.”

Valadao’s district is being eyed by Democrats as a potential pick-up this fall. He is running against Emilio Huerta, the son of labor leader and Hillary Clinton supporter Dolores Huerta.

While Valadao was able to win his seat in 2012, his victory was assisted by a dramatically low voter turnout among Latinos during the midterm elections. It is believed that Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign rhetoric and proposals to deport millions and build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, will drive large numbers of Hispanics to the polls this November.

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Adding to Valadao's struggle to keep his seat in Congress, is the fact that his district is one where Democrats hold a 15 percent edge in elegible voters over Republicans.

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