Politics

Costa, Kamala Harris trade endorsements

Last week, Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) took some by surprise in announcing his endorsement of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) for President. Now, Harris is returning the favor.

Costa’s campaign announced California’s junior senator and Presidential contender was endorsing his candidacy for re-election.

“Jim has been a reliable partner and I have seen, up close, his work for the Central Valley’s residents, to ensure they have clean and reliable water and affordable and accessible health care,” Harris said in a statement. “I look forward to continue to work with him to ensure the voices of farmers and producers in the Central Valley and across the country are uplifted and heard.”

The move by Harris is likely to send a message to potential contenders looking to challenge him, chief among them: Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria.

Sources told The Sun that Soria met with two groups – EMILY’s List and Emerge America – while in Washington, D.C. earlier in June as part of a road test for a challenge against Costa.

Costa already has two challengers – Republican Kevin Cookingham and Democrat Kim Williams.

In the first quarter of 2019, Costa raised $103,609.60, considerably low compared to his neighbor, freshman Rep. TJ Cox (D-Fresno), who raised $305,260.90 in the same window.

As for Costa’s endorsement of Harris, he joins a small handful of the California House Democrats to have made a decision before the first debates on Wednesday and Thursday.

Harris has led the field in earning support from Californians – picking up six California members of Congress since announcing her candidacy. Aside from Costa, Harris also has the endorsement of Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce), Nanette Diaz Barragan (D- ), and Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), and Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village).

The California Senator also has the endorsement of a wide swath of statewide office holders – including Gov. Gavin Newsom, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego)

Only two other California Congressmen have made endorsements: Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) who endorsed former Rep. John Delaney (D-Maryland), and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-San Jose) who endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont).

Not a single California Democrat in the House has endorsed their colleague, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin).

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.