Former House Republican edged out of seat faces strong start in comeback bid

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Former Republican Rep. David Valadao of California, who lost his Central Valley seat in the 2018 House Democratic wave, has reason for optimism in his bid to return to Congress.

Valadao on Tuesday emerged from the 21st Congressional District primary, far outpacing Democratic Rep. TJ Cox, to whom he lost in 2018 after six years in the House.

Valadao, 42, earned 53.1% of the vote, while Cox garnered 36.1%. Under California’s all-party primary rules, the pair, as the top-two finishers, will face off again in November.