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Juan Carlos Vargas is listed in the Progressive Voters Guide below. The Courage California Voter Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.

  • Democrat
    Juan Carlos Vargas
  • Re-elect Congressional Representative Juan Carlos Vargas to keep CA-51 on the right track.

    About the Position

    The United States is divided into 435 congressional districts, each with a population of about 710,000 individuals. Each district elects a representative to the House of Representatives for a two-year term. California has 53 congressional representatives. There is no term limit for this position.  

    About the District

    California's 51st Congressional District includes Imperial County and parts of San Diego County. Democrats typically hold this district. The most recent election results show 71.8 percent of AD-51 voted for Clinton for president in 2016, and 67.9 percent of the district voted for Newsom for governor in 2018.

    About the Race

    In the primary, Democrat incumbent Representative Vargas led Republican challenger Juan Hidalgo by a margin of 42.8 percent. Neither campaign has pledged to refuse corporate PAC, fossil fuel, or police money. Vargas’s campaign has raised $549,255.53 and has accepted money from corporate PACs and unions. Hidalgo’s campaign has raised $23,571.12, the bulk of which is candidate committee money.

    About the Candidate

    Representative Juan Carlos Vargas was born and raised in California's 51st congressional district, which he was first elected to in 2012.

    Vargas’ district includes Imperial County and the southern part of San Diego County, along the U.S.-Mexico border. To address local concerns about cross-border pollution, particularly of waterways, Vargas supported the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), specifically citing the $300 million that will be allocated to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP). He has been an advocate for action on climate change, and is one of the co-sponsors of House Resolution 109, which calls on the federal government to create a Green New Deal.

    Vargas has been critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including the wall at the border, the Migrant Protection Protocols, and the deportation of veterans. He urged Democrats to take a strong stance against Trump’s efforts to divert Pentagon funds to build a border wall. Recently, he called for investigations into efforts by Customs and Border Protection to send asylum seekers to Mexico by issuing documents for fake court hearings. He has also sponsored legislation that would allow Dreamers to apply for FHA loans, which HUD currently denies. 

    At the same time, Courage California (then known as Courage Campaign) was deeply involved in the fight for the Homeowner Bill of Rights in 2012, a critical piece of state legislation to protect homeowners from predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Then Senator Vargas played a key role as head of the Banking Committee in the California Senate, prior to his election to Congress. Unfortunately, Vargas repeatedly attempted to protect Wall Street from accountability. However, after heroic organizing with our partners at ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), he stepped down as committee chair, which eventually allowed for the landmark bill to pass. This gives us great pause about Rep. Vargas’s commitment to progressive governance.

    Rep. Vargas’s priorities for CA-51 this year have included protecting immigrants and DACA recipients, obtaining more medical equipment for fighting the pandemic, and environmental protections. He currently sits on two committees: the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Financial Services. This year, Rep. Vargas has voted 99 percent of the time with Nancy Pelosi and 96 percent of the time with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Rep. Vargas has co-sponsored two bills about protecting the USPS and providing for more police accountability this year, both of which have successfully passed the House but remain in the Senate.

    Rep. Vargas is endorsed by a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. According to our analysis, Rep. Vargas is the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office. While we have major concerns about Vargas and encourage a more progressive candidate to run against him in a future election cycle, there is no question that he is preferable to a Republican, given his record, particularly on such issues as climate change and immigration.

     

    Juan Carlos Vargas

    Re-elect Congressional Representative Juan Carlos Vargas to keep CA-51 on the right track.

    About the Position

    The United States is divided into 435 congressional districts, each with a population of about 710,000 individuals.

    Last updated: 2020-10-21

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