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Phil Arballo abandons Nunes replacement race, pivots to open north Valley Congressional seat


With Rep. Josh Harder (D–Turlock) clearing the field earlier this week to run in the Stockton-based district, Democrat Phil Arballo has declared for the new 13th Congressional District.

Harder previously announced his intentions to run for the 13th – which encompasses the west side of the Central Valley – but with long-time rep. Jerry McNerney (D–Stockton) retiring, the 13th district will be filled by a new member of Congress.

Arballo previously ran against former Tulare Republican Devin Nunes in 2020 but lost by over eight points. 

Following his 2020 campaign style, Arballo announced his decision to run for District 13 on Twitter with a plea for donations. 

District 13 includes parts of Modesto, Merced Turlock, Madera and west Fresno County and is home to a 13.49 percent advantage for Democrats. 

Arballo, a financial planner, said in a statement that the Valley has been poorly represented by career politicians with connections to special interest groups and noted that he has not “taken a dime of corporate PAC money.” 

“It’s time for a change in leadership,” Arballo said. “We need a representative in Congress who understands what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck. We need someone who will fight for clean air and clean water, greater access to quality health care, and a strong economy that includes lower housing costs and gives hardworking people the opportunity to succeed.” 

While Arballo enters the race, it appears fellow Democrat Andrew Janz is not following suit at the moment.

Janz lost to Nunes in 2018 and also ran an unsuccessful mayoral campaign in Fresno against Jerry Dyer.

“I know there’s been a lot of speculation about me seeking office again and I appreciate my supporters encouraging me to run,” Janz said in a statement to The Sun. 

“However, my focus at this time is being a good father and husband and continuing to seek justice for sexual assault victims as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office.”





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