Attorney Emilio Huerta, long-time community activist, has announced that he will run for the 21st Congressional District in 2018.
Huerta released the following statement announcing his candidacy: “The needs of residents and small businesses in the Southern and Central San Joaquin Valley have been ignored for far too long. I believe that residents of the San Joaquin Valley deserve a trusted voice in Washington D.C. who will not be afraid to stand up and fight on their behalf. The lack of educational opportunities, the unhealthy air we’re forced to breathe, and the staggering unemployment in Kern, Tulare, Fresno, and Kings County has made the 21st Congressional District one of the poorest regions of the country. Valley residents deserve better and they can be assured that I will fight hard for their interest in Congress.
David Valadao and the Republican led Congress continue to approve legislation that is incredibly damaging to Valley residents. The most recent federal budget supported by the Republican led Congress is a direct attack on our hard working families. Under such budget proposal, education programs for our children will be eliminated, health services for the elderly will all be significantly cut, nutrition programs important to Valley residents will be slashed, and construction of new affordable housing will be eliminated. Without question, this Congress is out of touch with the needs of the Valley. David Valadao’s recent vote to repeal the Affordable care act will result in hundreds of thousands of people losing vital health care coverage and will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the health care industry. It is time for new leadership in Washington who will fight to address the needs of Valley residents.”
Huerta is a lifelong resident of the San Joaquin Valley. He grew up in Kern County, attended local schools including California State University Bakersfield, and graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law. For over 30 years, he has worked to establish numerous non-profit organizations, has been instrumental in building affordable housing, has represented hundreds of small business owners as a member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, served as a labor negotiator, and advocated to establish primary health care clinics.
Local community leaders and elected officials in support of Huerta’s decision to run have much to say in support of their candidate:
Bakersfield family physician Carlos Alvarez, M.D.: Dr. Alvarez applauded Huerta’s decision to enter the race, citing his longstanding commitment to expanding the delivery of desperately needed medical services to rural communities: “Emilio has a long history of advocating for the increased delivery of primary health care services to working families. He is the only candidate running for Congress in the 21st that has consistently fought to build health centers and bring attention to our poor air quality. He knows firsthand the long term negative impacts that our bad air has had on a child’s life. The difference between Emilio and his opponent is like comparing night and day. David Valadao has always put special interests ahead of Valley residents – just as he did when he sided with President Trump to repeal access to healthcare for thousands of local residents. It’s time to send a leader to Congress who will put us first. Emilio is the best candidate for the job.”
Melissa Hurtado, Sanger City Councilmember, Sanger, CA: Ms. Hurtado praised Huerta’s commitment to improving our neighborhoods, stating: “I have had an opportunity to get to know Emilio this past year. In this time, I have personally witnessed his sincere passion and unyielding desire to help everyone in our community. In challenging moments, he has acted with honesty, courage, and conviction. He is a man of integrity. We need a leader that is not about rhetoric, but someone who is willing to work hard to bring jobs to our rural communities. Emilio is that person. I invite you to join me in supporting Emilio Huerta for congress.”
Jose Gurrola, Mayor of Arvin, CA: "As a local mayor of a rural community in Southern Kern County, I have seen Emilio Huerta's commitment to improve our neighborhoods. He is a genuine leader and a problem solver. He cares about building stronger, safer, and prosperous communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley. That's why I am proud to endorse Emilio's campaign for Congress.”
Arnold Morrison, Board President of the Delano Joint Union High School District, Delano, CA: “The proposed federal budget which has been recently introduced by the Republican led Congress would have disastrous consequences for our children. Not only does it cut funding for Medicaid and health services to low income children, but it also dismantles critical educational and nutritional programs which are so vital to our school districts. Once again, our Valley children have been left out in the cold. Without question, this Congress is out of touch with the needs of our communities and families. It is time for a change in Washington. I have worked with Emilio and have seen his passion to improve our community. Emilio represents the kind of change that we need in Washington!"
Michael D. Evans, Chair, Fresno County Democratic Party, Fresno, CA: “Valley Democrats are thrilled that Emilio is running again for California's 21st Congressional District. He has shown strong leadership and real commitment to the values of the Central Valley during his previous run. I have no doubt, that as a member of Congress, Emilio will deliver for our communities.”
Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor: “Now more than ever, we need to send a Democrat to Washington to fight for residents of the San Joaquin Valley. I have known Emilio for many years of know of his work in the community first hand. He has been a champion of affordable housing, quality healthcare, and the environment. Valley residents deserve their fair share and I'm confident that Emilio will deliver results in Congress. He's a principled leader who looks for innovative ways to solve critical issue confronting rural communities. I know you'll be able to count on him! Join me, in supporting Emilio Huerta for Congress.”