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U.S. House, State Assembly Office Holders Victorious
Eduardo Garcia | Juan Vargas

U.S. House, State Assembly Office Holders Smash Opponents

IMPERIAL COUNTY —The power of incumbency was on full display in the March 3 primary election as incumbents U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-51st) and State Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia (D-56th) rolled to easy re-election victories.

A political institution in Imperial and San Diego County and a U. S. Congress member since 2013, Vargas was opposed by Republican Juan Hidalgo Jr., a retired U.S. Marine.

With all precincts tallied, Vargas earned 40,165 votes, or 68.1 percent, in the district that includes all of Imperial County and part of San Diego County, the California Secretary of State website reported. Hidalgo tallied 18,797 votes, or 31.9 percent.      

In Imperial County, with all 218 precincts reporting, Vargas had 8,345 votes, or 63 percent, and Hidalgo 4,884 votes, or 37 percent, the county Election Department reported. This is the third time Hidalgo has challenged Vargas.

Vargas explained among his reasons for seeking re-election are to continue his work of sponsoring legislation to restore education funding, oppose Social Security and Medicare cuts and protect children from sex traffickers.

“My main three priorities are to protect our veterans who deserve excellent healthcare, housing, counseling and job training,” said Vargas. “I understand Imperial Valley’s high unemployment rate. I wrote legislation to help small business create jobs and training programs, as well as assure our renewable energy resources brings permanent jobs. I am also working on fixing our land ports of entry and continue to work to reduce wait times at the Calexico border crossing and reduce pollution throughout the Imperial Valley.”

Assembly Race Not Close

Meanwhile, state Assembly Member Garcia enjoyed similar success in seeking a third term. He was challenged by political newcomer America Figueroa, child development teacher and journalist/broadcaster.

In a district that includes all of Imperial County and part of the Coachella Valley area of Riverside County, Garcia received 26,131 votes, or 61.1 percent, the Secretary of State website reported. Figueroa tallied 16,630, or 38.9 percent.

In Imperial County with all 218 precincts counted Garcia had 8,277 votes, or 62.6 percent, and Figueroa 4,936 votes, or ‘s 37.4 percent, county elections reported.

Garcia noted he has a history fiscally responsible leadership.

“They’ve signed dozens of my bills, expanding workforce training, small business loan programs, making college more affordable, improving water and air quality in our region, advancing restoration of the Salton Sea and ensuring our communities receive their fair share of state funding for the environment, education and health care,” he said.

This story is featured in the Mar 05, 2020 e-Edition.

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