Rep. Costa makes run official in Merced announcement

Merced Sun Star

MERCED - Though it came as no surprise, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, announced his intention on Thursday to run for another term for the 16th Congressional District seat.

The congressman made the announcement in Merced near the steps of the Courthouse Museum, where several dozen people gathered. His comments touched on water, education and immigration, issues he said the region needs to better handle to plan for the future.

Immigration reform is needed, he said. “Have people forgotten what America is?” he asked.

“We cannot forget that we stand on the shoulders of immigrants.” Costa said he’s working to increase the water-storage capacity at dams throughout the Valley. He also said he wants to help UC Merced educate doctors.

“We need to do everything we can to improve health care here in the Valley,” he said.

“Ultimately, we need a medical school here ... with the University of California here at Merced, we have the potential, I believe, within the next five years to provide a fully fledged medical school.”

He spoke while surrounded by signs marked with the slogan “He’s one of us,” touting his roots in the Central Valley. Costa is a third-generation dairy farmer from Fresno.

Alluding to recent presidential debates, Costa said he looks to push back against the “cynicism” and “nastiness” that make their way into political discussions. “I truly believe in America,” he said. “I believe that the best days of America are still ahead of us.” …