CA-09 is one of the most diverse districts in the country with a district that is 38% Hispanic, 33% White, 18% AAPI, and 8% Black. Although Democrats hold a 15-point registration advantage over Republicans, CA-09 is rated D+5 and viewed as Lean Democratic.
U.S. Rep. Josh Harder brings Valley commonsense to Washington. As a new father, Harder knows firsthand the expenses families face and is fighting to cut costs while taking on corporations and special interests that force working families to foot their bills. An independent leader who isn’t afraid to work across the aisle to get things done, Harder has fought to secure the Valley’s first new water infrastructure storage project in a generation and worked to suspend the gas tax and get gas prices back down.
Harder’s opponent, Tom Patti, has a long history of breaching public trust. He has racked up multiple ethics investigations during his time as a San Joaquin County supervisor. While serving on the board, Patti has been accused of intimidation and coercion. His bullying went so far that he even compelled someone to file a restraining order against him.
Harder grew up in the Valley raised on faith, family, and hard work. His parents met on a mission trip. His father is a small business owner, and his mother is a volunteer leader at their Church. Harder’s adopted younger brother, David, spent weeks in the hospital when he was born prematurely. Harder’s parents were left with a $2 million medical bill and were only able to pay because his dad had good insurance. Josh Harder’s first job was as a local paperboy, and he worked his way through school, graduating from Stanford and Harvard thanks to scholarships from the Rotary Club and American Legion.
After graduation, Harder had a successful career as a venture capitalist but decided to run for office when his Republican member of Congress voted to strip healthcare away from his brother and thousands of others with pre-existing conditions. Harder refused to take a dime of corporate PAC money; instead, he relied on thousands of volunteers to knock on doors to win his race and flip the seat blue. He beat incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham by 10,000 votes and won his re-election in 2020 handily.
In Congress, Representative Harder was a lead sponsor on a bill that delivered health care to 30,000 veterans just like his grandfather who suffered from health issues after exposure to Agent Orange.
Harder believes climate change is an existential threat to our way of life. Catastrophic wildfires. Historic droughts. Polluted air and water. That’s why he introduced the FARM Act, a landmark climate change bill that supports Valley farmers in the fight against climate change. The bill is one of the only bills in Congress backed by both the leading environmental and agricultural groups.
Rep. Harder supports a women’s right to choose and declared when Roe v. Wade was overturned, “Today’s decision is infuriating and scary . . . . Supreme Court Justices decided that politicians are better suited at making healthcare decisions than a woman and her doctor…We will fight back.”
Representative Harder has said, “In California, we’ve seen a huge reduction in gun deaths thanks to our common sense reforms. You can’t buy assault rifles in California, and we have rigorous background checks. That’s why I don’t want to change anything for gun owners here in the Central Valley, but take our reforms and institute them nationwide. Not only will this help protect the people living across the country, but it will also reduce the ability for criminals, domestic abusers, and terrorists here in the Central Valley to get their hands on guns.”