A Republican who voted to impeach Donald Trump in the House of Representatives has won re-election in California, making him only the second of the 10 to do so still in Congress.
David Valadao was called the winner of his competitive race with Democrat Rudy Salas late on Monday, almost two weeks after election day.
With his party having already secured control of the House, albeit narrowly, his result was significant only for the survival of his political career after turning on the former president.
Other than Dan Newhouse, who swept to victory in his Washington state race, none of the Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment last year will serve another term.
Most prominent are the two Republican members of the January 6 committee investigating Trump’s failed efforts to remain in office after his 2020 defeat to Joe Biden: Liz Cheney, who was ousted in a primary battle for her Wyoming seat, and Adam Kinzinger, who chose not to seek re-election in Illinois.
Of the others, Jaime Herrera Beutler (Washington), Peter Meijer (Michigan) and Tom Rice (South Carolina) were beaten in primaries earlier this year, and Fred Upton (Michigan), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio) and John Katko (New York) opted for retirement.
Valadao released a statement on Monday night thanking his campaign staff and acknowledging his opponent, but not mentioning Trump, or his vote for his impeachment.
“I am once again humbled by the Central Valley’s support and faith in me,” the statement said.
“I commend Rudy Salas for running a strong campaign and his service to our community in the state assembly.”
Valadao’s margin of victory in California’s district 22, where he campaigned on issues including crime, inflation and healthcare, was more than 3%, according to the New York Times.
His seat, to which he was first elected in 2012, and recaptured in 2020 after defeat two years earlier, had been a midterms target for Democrats.
The Times said Republican political action committees, including the Congressional Leadership Fund aligned to the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, spent more than $11m in advertising for Valadao.
Trump never significantly engaged in the race, the Associated Press reported, and Valadao, a dairy farmer and son of Portuguese immigrants, had the endorsement of the state party as well as the support of McCarthy, who is seeking to become speaker.
Valadao criticized Trump while he was in office for separating migrant families at the US border, and said the former president was a driving force in the 6 January 2021 violence at the US Capitol.
Trump’s “inciting rhetoric was un-American, abhorrent, and absolutely an impeachable offense”, Valadao has said.
His re-election gives Republicans 219 House seats, one more than needed for control, with Democrats on 212 and only a handful of races remaining to be called.