Suzette Valladares, a self-described “veteran of Republican politics,” said she will run in the 2020 primary for the opportunity to represent local constituents in Congress.

Valladares leaves congressional race for Assembly run for a seat in Sacramento

Suzette Martinez Valladares, who previously announced her run for California’s 25th Congressional District, is now seeking to challenge Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, in the 2020 election. 

The self-described “veteran of Republican politics” and Acton resident has filed for the 38th Assembly District, according to the Secretary of State.  

She leaves behind a race against three other Republicans running for the 25th Congressional District seat currently held by first-term Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce. By entering the race to serve in Sacramento instead, Valladares becomes the direct challenger vying to unseat Smith, who is also serving her first term. 

Valladares was unavailable Tuesday for comment but Joe Messina, communications director for the 38th Republican Central Committee, said it was “great to see that we have great talent in the 38th stepping up to help straighten out some of the issues that we have in this state.”

He added that there have been “potential candidates who have approached the committee to run and they are relatively unknown,” but have not yet made their decisions. Following this weekend’s state Republican convention, Messina said the party will have an opportunity to see all potential candidates for the 38th District after statewide clubs discuss “strategy to make their case for next year” and those interested in running “stick their toe(s) in the water.”

When looking to represent the 25th District, Valladares said in an April interview some of her focus areas included plans to fight for access to affordable health care, reduce regulations for the success of local and small businesses, and create an immigration system that meets the country’s economic needs and humanitarian values. 

“There are a lot of things that aren’t traditionally considered conservative issues, but there are conservative solutions to Americans’ everyday problems,” Valladares said in the interview. 

Valladares is the CEO of Little Steps of Faith, a faith-based nonprofit that provides child care and preschool to families across Los Angeles County. The wife and mother is also an early childhood education advocate and became interested in public affairs and governance while in high school. 

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