Hernandez lost to Valadao (in rounded numbers) 58% to 42%.
He won the vote in only one county in the 21st District…Kern County. Hernandez focused the majority of his campaign efforts there. He didn’t have the funds or resources to mount a major campaign throughout the District.
Hernandez told me… he believes his late entry into the race hurt his fundraising and eventual showing on Election Night.
Valadao had a huge advantage in fundraising and received hundreds of thousands of dollars from an outside PAC to launch TV ads against Hernandez.
Hernandez’s 2012 House Election Committee came out of the General Election with a campaign debt of $40,500. Hernandez says more than half of that red ink is from money he lent to his own campaign.
Hernandez is holding a fundraiser tonight (March 14th) in Fresno to help retire that debt and hopefully, start adding to a 2014 campaign war chest.
He’s asking for contributions of $2500, $1000, or $500 to retire the debt for the 2012 campaign… and at least $30 donations for Exploratory Committees in three different Valley counties for a 2014 Congressional run.
E-mail invitations for the event tout Hernandez as a Democrat who can bring real reform to Washington and deliver jobs to the 21st District and the Central Valley.
Hernandez is certainly getting a head start and he believes his Congressional campaign needs to be up and running two years in advance to prepare. He says he didn’t do it right the last time.
Hernandez believes when the votes are counted on Election Night in 2014, he’ll come away with a five point victory over the popular Republican.
What gives him confidence behind that prediction?
First of all, voter registration in District 21 leans Democratic and Hernandez believes his campaign can increase that registration divide between Democrats and Republicans.
Secondly, President Obama scored a more than ten point victory over Governor Romney in November in the 21st District and Hernandez thinks he can still ride the President’s coattails while he’s still in office in 2014.
Finally, Hernandez doesn’t seem to have any Democratic competition… yet.
Hernandez, the CEO of the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, hopes to raise a million dollars for the 2014 race and another million with the outside help of Democratic Party PACs.
Hernandez says… if he can earn a 60/40 split in Kings County, Congressman Valadao’s home county, he can win.
He has a lot of work to do. Here are the final numbers by county from the 2012 General Election for the 21st District:
Fresno 16,197 23,488
Kern 21,861 19,429
Kings 9,473 21,783
Tulare 1,588 2,464
Totals 49,119 67,164