Fresno City Council Member, Esmeralda Soria has announced she’s running for Congress.
She’ll try to unseat 14-year incumbent, Jim Costa.
The 16th district includes all of Merced County, as well as parts of Fresno and Madera Counties.
Soria and Costa are both Democrats.
The primary election is in March of 2020 but both sides are ready to do what it takes to win.
“Congress has not worked for our working families. Has not prioritized families here in the valley that are struggling,” Esmeralda Soria told us on Friday. “I believe that we need change.”
Soria has five years of experience as a councilwoman under her belt.
“I’ve provided a voice for folks that a long time felt didn’t have a voice,” she explained.
She says she plans to ensure college accessibility, rebuild the middle class, and fight for access to healthcare. Soria who is an attorney says college grads need relief from crushing debt.
“I’m strapped with over $150,000 in college debt. We need to change that and Congress is broken,” Soria said.
She says our families need a Congress that works for the people, not corporations. She also added that too many have followed the rules, worked hard, and are still struggling.
“This campaign is about the working families of the Central Valley,” Soria explained.
She’s going after Costa who she once endorsed.
“So what you have is a battle between the old guard of the Democratic party and young upstarts and where the party wants to go,” said Jim Verros, Political Analyst.
We reached out to Congressman Jim Costa. He released this statement:
“I was very disappointed to learn that my longtime ally and friend, Fresno City Council Member, Esmeralda Soria, has made the decision to run against me in the 2020 election. We’ve always worked well together, and in my recent meeting with her she did not mention any issues with my leadership. The reason I do this job is to help people and make a difference for the valley. I have more work to do. That is why I am running for re-election.”
If Soria does win, a special election would happen for the city council seat she vacates.
Democrat, Kim Williams is also running for the 16th Congressional District.