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.

4 Responses

  1. Wilson

    The very last thing Fresno needs is another Republican. Especially a TRUMP Republican, which is what she is but this article does not mention!

    The article says her experience operating a cell phone business: “convinced her that government regulations were hindering small businesses”

    Okay, exactly WHAT “government regulations” is she referring to?

    Well, like most Republican candidates, she will never tell!

    She will instead just stick to the Republican mantra. General claims without real specifics.

    Everyone knows by “government regulations against small businesses” it usually means things about labor, or protection for consumers, or the environment.

    Maybe she can start identifying the exact laws that she wants to remove, and maybe she will be more believable. Start there. At least then we can have a real discussion. Until then, she is just… another…

    Seriously, NO THANK YOU.

    • Phil

      Hi Wilson,

      I think it will be interesting to see where she stands on specific issues. The public and the media should probably attempt to force her to state her views, but good luck right now with the Bee.

      I think there are some subtle distortions and/or exaggerations in her biography. We will never know because no one will check. By the way, even without those distortions her bio is very impressive. Surprising that she would bother doing that. She reminds me of a salesman who misleads a bit to make a sale.

      Because her bio is impressive, and because she is probably very smart, she is an electoral threat to Costa. I am interested to see how he handles his campaign. I have not heard anything from him yet. This conflict will be very interesting to follow.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

We've got issues, and we're willing to share
(but only if you want them in your inbox).