Elizabeth Heng talked about her background and vision Monday for representing California’s 16th District if she is elected to Congress in a speech to the Fresno Rotary Club.
But at no time during her talk at the Cornerstone Conference Center did she directly address her rival’s accusation that she has missed voting in many local elections.
Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno) levied the charges against his Republican challenger in his latest round of campaign ads.
According to records from the Fresno County elections office, Heng did not vote in Fresno in six of 11 elections from 2003 — when she turned 18 — through 2012.
According to documents provided by the Costa campaign, Heng, a Republican, registered and voted for the 2012 general election in Clark County, Nevada. She was registered in Washington, D.C., from 2013-2016, missing four votes there and only casting a ballot in the 2016 general election.Fullscreen Mode
She voted at her Fresno polling location for the June 2018 primary.
During a question-and-answer session afterward, a member of the audience asked Heng to respond to Costa’s ad.
“I’ve spent my whole adult life focusing on education and getting real-life experiences. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going to Washington, D.C. collecting a paycheck and not doing anything for our valley here. I’m going to continue to fight the good fight.
“I find it disappointing that my opponent threw out negative punches. But I’m going to continue meeting every constituent here in our community and fighting the good fight because I believe our community deserves better.”
GV Wire asked Heng to clarify her voting record after the event. She declined to answer. Her staff said Heng had to leave to drive her parents, who attended the speech, back to their store.
Costa’s Voting Record
In Costa’s latest TV ad (also seen online), he tells viewers that “here, we value honesty, family and getting results. You can’t do that if you don’t show up. My opponent’s been missing in action, not bothering to vote in election after election impacting our valley. Not me, I’ve been here.”
County clerk data backs Costa’s claim. Costa has voted in every election, either at the poll or absentee ballot for the last 14 years.Fullscreen Mode
Heng Talks Immigration
During her 20-minute talk, Heng outlined her life story as a daughter of immigrants who escaped the Cambodian genocide.
She also addressed immigration issues and said she supported DACA, the Obama-era ruling that granted children brought into America illegally, some limited legal status.
“With DACA recipients, I believe we need to be compassionate with them. Even the last administration deferred the action on childhood arrival to provide these students with the security that they need in the country. It was no fault of their own.”
Heng also addressed the labor shortage in the fields.
“We need to increase the guest-worker program. When I’m talking to our farmers, they’re telling me $30 an hour to pick crops — tomatoes, for example — are still not finding enough labor,” she said.
Both issues need to be tied to border and national security she added.