Political Notebook

Jim Costa endorses Hillary Clinton for president

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, is endorsing his fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton, for president.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, is endorsing his fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton, for president.

Little by little, the central San Joaquin Valley’s congressional delegation has been endorsing various presidential candidates.

Now, add Jim Costa to the list. The six-term Fresno congressman is backing his fellow Democrat, Hillary Clinton.

“It is my view that Secretary Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate to serve as the next President of the United States,” Costa said in a statement released by the Clinton campaign. “Many challenges face our nation and California, and we need someone who is going build on the opportunities that have always been the promise of America. I know Secretary Clinton believes that we need to invest in America’s infrastructure, fix our broken immigration system, and ensure that important investments are made for America's next generation. I am strongly committed, as is Secretary Clinton, to ensuring that America's best days are still ahead of us. For these reasons, I am endorsing Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.”

Clinton is widely viewed as the favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been closing the gap, recent polls show.

Costa is the third of the Valley’s five congressmen to endorse a presidential candidate.

Last October, Hanford Republican David Valadao endorsed Jeb Bush for president, and last month, Granite Bay Republican Tom McClintock endorsed his fellow Republican, Ted Cruz.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, have yet to endorse in the race.

Jeff Denham’s Stanislaus County-based congressional district is no longer considered to in the Valley (Madera, Kings, Tulare and Fresno counties), but locals still follow him because his district included parts of Fresno and Madera counties before redistricting. Denham last August endorsed Bush.