Republicans Flip Another House Seat, Expanding GOP Majority in Next Congress

Republicans flipped a United States House of Representatives seat that represents a district in a central California district. The flip expands the GOP majority in the next Congress. 

Republican businessman and farmer John Duarte, declared victory on December 2. “I promised our Valley families that I would be their bipartisan champion in Washington, D.C. by fighting for food on our tables, gas in our tanks, and water on our farms. That is exactly what I am going to go there to do,” said Duarte in a statement.

Democrat California Assemblyman Adam Gray conceded. “After weeks of incredibly hard work by our election workers, the results has become clear,” said Gray in a statement. “While I had hoped for a different outcome, I accept the results and have called to congratulate my opponent, John Duarte.”

According to unofficial results from the California secretary of state’s office, the Associated Press called the race. Duarte has 66,884 votes, while Gray has 66,300. Duarte’s victory in California’s 13th Congressional District, means the GOP has secured 221 seats in the House, beginning in January when new representatives are sworn in. Democrat Representative Barbara Lee has been the district’s representative since 2013 Because of redistricting, she ran for and won California’s 12th Congressional District.

Duarte’s campaign: What worked?

New representative Duarte has never held public office. He campaigned on making everyday essentials including food and gas affordable, working to combat crime and securing the Central Valley’s water supply.

“You deserve to thrive, not just survive. Out-of-touch career politicians have put the needs of big corporations and special interests before us. They have driven prices sky high with reckless spending. Working Valley families are being forced to choose between food on the table and gas in the tank,” said Duarte on his campaign website. “As your Congressman I’ll do the right thing — I’ll vote to suspend the gas tax and cut fuel and food prices.”

Also, Duarte said people deserve well-paying jobs and that securing more water, implementing better laws and lowering prices will lead to “good-paying valley jobs for everyone.”

The other main focus of his campaign was a focus on education. 

“Every child — no matter what challenges they face — deserves an environment that welcomes and supports them. They deserve teachers that make sure that when they graduate, they are prepared to thrive,” said Duarte. “As your Congressman, I will work hard to get schools back to basics and make sure that every student has the support they need in the classroom. I support school choice so our kids can find an environment that meets their needs.”

One more race remains uncalled. Republicans could gain one more seat in Congress. In Colorado, the margin between Republican Lauren Boebert and Democrat challenger Adam Frisch is so narrow a recount has been ordered, per state law.

However, Boebert leads by 550 votes and Frisch conceded, acknowledging it is unlikely the recount will change the results. If Boebert is ultimately triumphant, Republicans would have 222 seats in January, with Democrats having 213.