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
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
“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