Political Notebook

Madera Supervisor Rogers mulls Costa congressional challenge

Madera County Supervisor David Rogers has filed federal paperwork to challenge Fresno Democrat Jim Costa in the 16th Congressional District.

Still, it doesn’t mean the Chowchilla Republican is running. In fact, Rogers has sent out a few mixed messages recently, and as of late last week word was spreading that he was out of the race.

Not so fast, Rogers says.

On Monday afternoon, he posted a clear message on Facebook. “After hundreds of calls and encouraging comments,” he wrote, “I am moved to continue what I have started.”

Rogers, a 55-year-old general contractor and current board of supervisors chairman in Madera County, said a final decision should come in a month or so. A lot will depend on his ability to raise money.

“We are still in the hunt,” he said in an interview. “The response is tremendous, but like anything, you can put your foot on the gas and if there’s no gas in the car you can’t go very far.”

Costa is in his sixth congressional term and is showing no signs of retiring. He was elected four times to the 20th Congressional District, and now has twice been elected to the new 16th Congressional District, which was drawn based on 2010 U.S. Census data.

Last year, however, Costa had a close call in his reelection battle against Republican Johnny Tacherra. Already, Tacherra is planning a rematch.

Word long ago slipped out that Rogers was looking at a 2016 run against Costa — whether fellow Republican Tacherra ran again or not — and he said Monday that he’s been “shaking hands for five months.”

On Friday, however, Rogers sent out a cryptic Facebook message that started off with him expressing “my deep gratitude to all of my friends for coming along side me in support of everything that I try to do.” He then wrote “the last five months have not been easy, but they have revealed many excellent lessons.”

Even though Rogers finished the note saying “and so we will continue to march” in the race and that “this is not over; it’s just beginning,” many felt it was a sort of concession note.

Rogers then cleared that up Monday.

If Costa, Rogers and Tacherra all run, only the top two finishers, regardless of political party, will advance from the June 2016 primary to the general election. That would likely be Costa and the highest finisher between Rogers and Tacherra.