As the San Joaquin Valley battles back from the severe economic downturn, the region needs congressional representatives who can promote the interests of the key industry, agriculture, and also work with local leaders to broaden the economic base.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, has a record that meets those qualifications. We recommend his election in the new 16th District.
Redistricting put Costa in a district that includes about half the city of Fresno, part of Madera County and all of Merced County.
Costa has long been a champion of agriculture, which is why the California Farm Bureau endorsed him for Congress. The organization said Costa has been a consistent voice for farmers.
"He recognizes that the economy and environment of his district both depend on the success of farms and ranches -- and that the success of the Valley's farms and ranches depends on water," CFBF President Paul Wenger said.
In addition to working to increase agriculture's water supply, he has been a leader in the effort to bring high-speed rail to California. Costa was instrumental in getting the project to start in the San Joaquin Valley, which will give the region a major economic boost.
Costa also is being supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of his work to improve the economy at the local and national levels.
The 16th District has been hit especially hard by the housing crisis, and Costa has fought to give homeowners facing foreclosure mortgage relief. This is an issue in which a member of Congress can be effective because banks have ignored the voices of individuals about to lose their homes.
Costa's Valley representation goes back more than three decades with his service in the California Assembly and Senate, and then with his election to Congress in 2004.
In his long tenure as an elected official, he has been a strong representative for the Valley. Voters in the 16th Congressional District should return Costa to Congress on Nov. 6.
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