Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Cookingham Leads Costa in 16th Congressional District
bill-new-mug-002
By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 4 years ago on
March 4, 2020

Share

Republican challenger Kevin Cookingham of Madera County and incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Costa are running 1-2 in early returns from the California 16th District primary Tuesday night.
The Secretary of State reported that Cookingham was at 38.4% and Costa at 37.6% with 43% of precincts reporting as of 11:10 p.m.
Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, a Democrat who “primaried” Costa in a surprise move, stood at 18.4%.
Another Democrat, Kim Williams of Merced, tallied 5.7%.
The top two finishers regardless of party affiliation advance to the general election in November.

Costa’s Hard-Hitting Attacks on Soria

Soria raised the eyebrows of many when she challenged Costa, who has represented Fresno and other Valley communities in Congress since 2005.
Soria had other opportunities in this election cycle: running for mayor or even challenging incumbent Republican Devin Nunes for his 22nd District seat.
During the campaign, Costa capitalized on Soria’s strong support for him during the 2018 election. One ad featured videos of Soria praising Costa as a strong advocate for the Valley.
Another Costa ad mocked Soria’s earlier comments about living “paycheck to paycheck” and cast her relationship with developer Terance Frazier in a negative light.
Meanwhile, Soria tried to sway voters by describing herself as a champion of working-class families and more in tune with younger voters. And, she characterized Costa as a pawn of corporate interests.
“It’s time for new leadership, a new perspective, and a new voice that will make Congress work for us — not corporations and powerful special interests,” Soria said.
Responded Costa: “I am proud of my record to expand access to healthcare, protect our immigrants and Dreamers, improve education, clean up contaminated groundwater and increase our water supplies.”

Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria votes Tuesday morning. She is in third place in early returns for the 16th District seat in Congress held by Jim Costa. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Big Fundraising Edge for Costa

Soria struggled to get her message out because of bare-bones funding of about $300,000.
In contrast, Costa accumulated $1.3 million in campaign contributions and endorsements from leading Democrats such as Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sen. Kamala Harris.

Could Cookingham Ultimately Prevail in a Blue District?

If the early trend holds up, Cookingham, a retired Clovis Unified School District administrator, would try to knock Costa from his seat — a feat no Republican congressional candidate has pulled off.
Noting the loyalty of Republican voters, Costa predicted in the race’s final days that Cookingham could be the top vote-getter in the primary.
But now, with the field apparently cleared of Soria and Williams, Cookingham must win over Democratic and independent voters to make his next address Washington, D.C.
Voters in the 16th District are 44% Democrat, 25% Republican, and 25% no party preference.
 

DON'T MISS

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

DON'T MISS

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

UP NEXT

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

UP NEXT

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Prop 47 Reformers Send Nearly a Million Signatures to Sacramento

UP NEXT

Barbara Corcoran: 1% Interest Rate Drop Will Send Housing Prices ‘Through the Roof’

UP NEXT

Biden Scores Endorsements from Kennedy Family, Looking to Shore Up Support Against Trump and RFK Jr.

UP NEXT

Juror Dismissed From Trump Hush Money Trial. Prosecutors Seek to Hold Former President in Contempt

UP NEXT

Biden Backs House’s Aid Package for Ukraine, Israel While Speaker Johnson Battles to Retain Position

Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

2 days ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

2 days ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

2 days ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

2 days ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 days ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

Did you know that SNAP EBT benefits used to be called food stamps and that recipients can use those benefits to get healthy food in places o...

5 hours ago

5 hours ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

5 hours ago

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

1 day ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

1 day ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

1 day ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

2 days ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend