Redistricting leaves Congressman Cardoza's future in doubt
FRESNO, California (KFSN) -- Congressman Dennis Cardoza's current seat in the 18th District stretches from Stockton to North Fresno is expected to be cut up and changed, absorbing parts of Democrat Jim Costa's current 20th District and Republican Jeff Denham's 19th Congressional District. Political Science Professor Tom Holyoke of Fresno State says it leaves Cardoza, a five term Democrat in a tough spot.
Cardoza is said to be considering retiring. A statement from his Chief of Staff says: "He is still making his decision. He has also said that he would only consider running in the Merced County district."
Costa is in the middle East and wasn't' available for comment. But last week he told Action News he is still weighing his options and having talks with Cardoza. Local Democratic leaders like Patricia Brown of the Democratic Women's Club, are hoping Costa will be a candidate.
Brown said, "I think Jim Costa has his condo in the district, which runs North into Madera and Merced so if Cardoza does retire I hope he takes a hard look at that seat."
Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of Tulare told us by phone he believes Costa has no choice because his current district will be changed to cut him out of his Fresno Democratic support base.
"The Costa District, he won't be able to run in it because he can't win," said Nunes. "That's why you're seeing this discussion going on between him and Dennis."
Whatever happens Holyoke says it appears redistricting is going to give the local Republican Congressional delegation an edge. "Because one way or another there's going to be one less Democrat in the Valley, it very much looks like."
But, Democrats are planning to fight for what's left of Costa's old district. While Republicans think they have the edge, local Democrats are hoping former state senator Dean Florez will become a candidate for the seat that covers a part of Bakersfield all the way through Kings County and western Fresno County.
The redistricting maps are expected to be made public on Monday.
politics, gene haagenson
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