Elizabeth Heng, the Fresno native who is best known for her 2018 campaign for Congress, announced she is running for U.S. Senate.
Heng, a Republican, is planning a run against Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla in the 2022 election.
Padilla was appointed to the Senate in January, by Gov. Gavin Newsom, to complete the term of Kamala Harris — who was elected vice president.
In a Twitter video, Heng said she wants to provide a voice for the voiceless, attacking “career politicians” for what she describes as an ineffective coronavirus response.
“Coronavirus is impacting all of us. We are hurting. These career politicians seem to think that their policies are good and working. They’re not. They are the problem. We need leaders who will fight for common sense solutions. And that’s what I will do,” Heng said in a video message.
Notable 2018 Campaign
Heng, a Stanford graduate and former Republican staffer in Washington, surprised many election pundits by receiving 47% of the vote in the 2018 congressional primary against incumbent Jim Costa, D-Fresno.
She raised $1.3 million and aired a notable campaign commercial, showing a Jim Costa-lookalike walking around in high heels. The spot attempted to tie Costa to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco.
The momentum did not last, with Costa winning 57.5% to 42.5% for Heng.
Since her run for Congress, Heng helped found the New Faces GOP PAC.
She also gained attention for airing a political ad in September 2019 following a presidential debate in select TV markets. The ad criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and faced backlash for tying Ocasio-Cortez to socialism.