Economy

High Gas Prices in California Could Cost Democrats Seats in Congress

Written by Diego Hays

California families are struggling to pay for food and gas. With gas prices actively rising to near $7 a gallon, a lot of poor and middle-class families are finding it hard to pay for food for their families and gas for their cars causing lots of outrage even in left-leaning families complaining about how the left is just bark and no bite. Washington and Sacramento have yet to address their complaints on the economy and how much gas costs now. 

Many left-leaning people in current financial pain are looking to the left but they aren’t taking those people up and helping them. Meanwhile, the Democrats need the votes from the Democratic-leaning voters that are suffering from this plague of inflation. They need the votes from those people yet aren’t addressing their concerns as a collective which would stunt the vote in races such as r the 22nd Congressional district. The seat is currently held by Republican David Valadao. Valadao lost his seat in 2018 but won it back in 2020. With redistricting, his district became slightly more Democrat-leaning. Assembly Rudy Salas is challenging Valadao as a moderate Democrat, but his voting record regarding the gas tax shows otherwise.  

Republicans pointed out how Assemblymember Salas missed several key votes to suspend the excise gas tax in California for 6 months. California has the highest gas tax in the nation at 51 cents per gallon, and is set to increase to about 53 cents on July 1st. Salas’ campaign manage Abby Olmstead said that Salas was, “the only Democrat who voted against increasing the gas tax when it was originally proposed”. However, Salas had abstained from voting on the matter and only changed his vote after the fact. 

In total, Assemblymember Salas avoids votes and prefers to change his vote at random times depending on what he views as gaining political ground. David Valadao’s advisor Robert Jones said, “The reason voters have supported David (Valadao) throughout the years — and what they’re looking for in a representative — is somebody who’s willing to stand up to their party and take on the tough voters. Rudy has no history of that. When tough votes come around, Rudy sticks his finger in the air and changes his vote in the dead of night. That’s not leadership.” 

Overall the problem around gas prices in the state is making it hard for Democrats to win ground against Republicans in many key races. 

Photo Cred: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong