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Will Elizabeth Heng Reach Her Next Big Goal of Beating Jim Costa?

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There’s no question that Elizabeth Heng is an achiever.

Raised in Fresno, the 33-year-old Republican — and former Capitol Hill staffer — seeks to replace Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) in the 16th Congressional District seat.

Heng is the daughter of refugees from Cambodia. She attended elementary, middle and high school in Fresno — graduating from Sunnyside High School as valedictorian before continuing her education at Stanford University. There, on her way to earning a degree in political science, she was elected student body president.

Motivated by Small Business Experience

She returned to Fresno to help run and grow a successful cell phone franchise with her brothers. Three years later, that experience convinced her that government regulations were hindering small businesses, so she decided to do something about it. She bought a one-way ticket to Washington, D.C., and joined the staff of Congressman Ed Royce (R-Los Angeles) within a month.

Two years later, she was director of protocol and outreach for the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Heng was not yet 30 years old at the time. She spent almost five years in that position, also earning an M.B.A. degree from Yale University along the way.

Family Ties Brought Her Home

Then, the draw of family brought her home again in late 2017. But she did not leave her interest in politics behind.

“When I came back to Fresno and saw that we were dealing with the exact same problems that we were dealing with, frankly, 10 years ago — 20 years ago,” Heng said, “I wanted to throw my name in the ring.

In this Take 5 interview, Heng talks about:

  • Her personal background and what motivated her to enter politics.
  • Her experience working as a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Republican accomplishments in the current Congress.
  • The need for comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Local cooperation with Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

View Elizabeth Heng’s full Take 5 interview by clicking on the video above.

Videographer: Jahz Tello. Video producer: Randy Reed.

Randy Reed is a writer and content producer for GV Wire. He has experience reporting for local radio stations and newspapers. In addition, he an extensive background in video production focused on news and documentary subjects. Reed is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communications. In his free time, Reed enjoys digital photography as a hobby and loves to explore the scenic beauty of our Valley’s three spectacular National Parks. You can contact Randy at 559-705-2107 or Send an Email.