Education: College of the Sequoias, attended 1996-98
Career: Dairy farmer
Political highlights: Calif. Assembly, 2010-present
David Valadao, R-Calif. (21st District)
A lifelong dairy farmer, David Valadao campaigned on his hometown connections, including his involvement with Central Valley agriculture groups.
Valadao grew up working on the farm his parents established in Hanford after they emigrated from Portugals Azores islands in 1969. He is now a managing partner, working with his brothers to run what has grown into two separate dairies and more than 1,000 acres of farmland used to grow feedstock, including corn, alfalfa and wheat.
In just his first term in the California Assembly, Valadao rose to vice chairman of the Agriculture Committee while serving on two other panels: Utilities and Commerce and Budget. During those two years, he opposed a project to build a high-speed rail system, calling it poorly managed and rushed. He has said he will move to cut federal funding for that project in Congress.
Valadao joined Republicans to support overhauling Californias public pension program. And he sponsored unsuccessful legislation to end state funding for ethanol. Blaming unions and special interests for blocking that bill, Valadao says this is not over corn ethanol is bad public policy.
Valadao has touted his business background, including serving in leadership roles within the California Milk Advisory Board and the Western States Dairy Trade Association and being elected Regional Leadership Council chairman for Land OLakes Inc.
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Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.