Views from the Edge
For the first time in 16 years, The Fresno Bee is endorsing someone other than Republican incumbent Rep. Devin Nunes in the 22nd congressional district race. Instead, the Bee is endorsing first-time candidate Andrew Janz over the incumbent.
“Voters in the 22nd District … can elect a representative who will both help them with their needs, listen to their concerns and invite them into the process, and chart a bipartisan course that the nation must find if it is to meet the challenges of the future. That leader is Andrew Janz,” the paper’s editorial board wrote about the former Deputy District Attorney.
“Voters can also choose Nunes and remain stuck with the damaging partisanship he practices, the party-above-country mode that motivates him to protect President Trump from the investigation into Russian meddling more than meet his constitutional obligations as an independent arm of government,” the editorial continued. “Then there is his lack of regard for the needs of his part of California.”
The Bee invited both candidates to interviews, but only Thai American Janz accepted. Relations between the newspaper and Nunes has been tense this campaign. The Republican has accused the newspaper of pushing a “leftist, liberal socialist.” agenda. Last week, Nunes’ campaign mailed out a 40-page pamphlet attacking the newspaper.
The newspaper points out that Nunes has not bothered to hold a town hall of public forum in years while Janz has been all over the district outworking Nunes, who prefers action in Washington. He has gained the reputation as one of Trump’s most loyal defenders.
“Nunes,” the Bee editorial points out, “voted along party lines in approving the House version of the American Health Care Act of 2017. It would have shrunk Medicaid by 15 million enrollees nationwide by 2026. Medicaid is the government program that covers low-income children, adults, seniors and people with disabilities, aiding one in five Americans. In Nunes’ district, 313,000 people were enrolled in Medi-Cal as of January. Of those, 74,000 would have immediately lost coverage, and all would have had their coverage impacted through loss of benefits or access to doctors. (Medi-Cal is California’s version of Medicaid).”
District 22 is in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley’s agricultural center and includes parts of Fresno and Sanger and Visalia.
The important endorsement comes a day after a poll taken in mid-September showed that among likely voters, Nunes led Janz 53 to 45 percentage points. That lead, apparently is large enough to make the Democratic Party spend its money in closer races. Janz is not getting any help from the party. Republicans also have an edge in voter registration.
The political website fivethirtyeight, gives Janz’s chances to pull an upset at 1:40.
Janz has been able to raise a sizable campaign chest, over $7 million, on his own, the majority in small donations. Nevertheless, Nunes has more money for the home stretch. Most of his money came from outside the district.
“Look, I am not a career politician,” Janz said in a Sept. 5 interview with The Bee. “I am not a political pundit. All I can do is my best. All can do is go out there and talk to voters.”
Read the entire op-ed at The Fresno Bee.
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