Jim Costa announces reelection bid for Fresno-Tulare district

Just one day after the California Redistricting Commission finalized the new maps, Congressman Jim Costa (D–Fresno) announced Tuesday that he will seek reelection. 

Costa – first elected in 2004 – will run for the new 21st Congressional District, which encompasses much of central and west Fresno, Sanger, Selma, Reedley, Dinuba and north Visalia. 

“I’ve spent my career working to ensure everyone has the chance to be a part of a strong middle-class and has what they need to raise their families in safe, healthy communities. Navigating the global pandemic and expanding access to quality healthcare, especially in our rural and underserved communities, delivering cleaner air and protecting critically needed access to water for our families and farmers requires steady, battle-tested leadership,” Costa said in a statement. 

“That’s why I am proud to announce that I will be running for reelection to Congress, to continue being that leader. In Congress, I will continue my commitment to ensuring our families, children and small business owners can thrive in a post-quarantine world and come back even stronger. I am looking forward to the road ahead and continuing to serve our Valley and all Californians. I look forward to campaigning vigorously and earning the vote of those who call our Valley home.” 

The new 21st district marks a shift in Costa’s current representation. His district over the last decade, District 16, spans Fresno, Madera and Merced. 

While Costa carried a strong Democrat voter registration edge in his current district at a 19.56 percent difference over Republicans, his new seat will be slightly less favorable in that regard. 

The new 21st District will have a 16.75 percent Democrat advantage. 

However, voters in the area supported Joe Biden over Donald Trump last year by 20.35 percent. 

Costa is also coming off an election which saw him fend off an in-party challenge from Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria in the primary before defeating Republican Kevin Cookingham by over 19 points in the general election. 

Next year’s primary election is scheduled for June 7.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.