Despite a ridiculous registration advantage, the California Central Valley has been a graveyard for Democrats. They’ve done a bit better lately but it’s one of the few places that a Republican can consistently hold a D+4 seat in congress and D+7 seats in the state senate. Democrats generally lack good candidates who can win elections. Instead, they often go with inexperienced candidates who have no profile in the districts they run in.
Michael Rubio was a strong candidate, but he withdrew from running against David Valadao in 2012 and then resigned his state senate seat to take lobbying job at Chevron. The one Democrat who was a threat to beat Valadao, and probably would’ve been favored, was Assemblyman Henry Perea. Unlike most Democrats in the Central Valley he beat Barack Obama’s percentage of the vote in 2012. He’s termed out of the legislature. So the speculation was whether he’d take a second shot at the Fresno mayor’s office or take on David Valadao. While Perea had made no move to do either yet, he had plenty of time. Instead of running for office, he’s resigning and taking what I assume is a lobbying job.
Democrats need the so called “business Democrats” to win in places a progressive can’t, but those who support business interests in the legislature are then prime candidates for jobs with the same businesses. I don’t think the Democrats have much of a shot of beating Valadao in 2016.