Josh Harder elected in Central Valley congressional district

Democratic Rep. Josh Harder won election to a Stockton-centric congressional district, beating Republican Tom Patti, a San Joaquin County supervisor and businessman.

Harder, who represents a neighboring district, emphasized his independence from his party at the Central Valley race, which, despite the area’s blue slope, has been one of California’s most competitive convention races.

The Associated Press called Tuesday’s race, although official results will be longer.

Both candidates sought to portray their rivals as committed to the extremes of their respective parties, but their behavior and messages often reflected the dovish views of many of the region’s voters.

Patti, a former amateur boxer who trained with Mike Tyson, had said he was not a “Trumpster”. Harder highlighted his disagreements with the Democratic Party on issues such as gas taxes and water. On the ballot, the title he listed was “agriculture committee member,” not a member of Congress.

The 9th congressional district, modified in the post-census map redraw, includes much of San Joaquin County with small portions of Contra Costa and Stanislaus counties.

After the incumbent living there decided against re-election, Harder ran in friendlier voting terrain. Democrats have a lead of about 15 percentage points over Republicans in voter registration.

Harder, who grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, worked as an executive at a Silicon Valley venture capital firm before returning to run for Congress. In 2018, he was one of seven Democrats to flip Republican districts in California. Josh Harder elected in Central Valley congressional district

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