Esmeralda Soria and Jim Costa fighting for votes as March primary nears

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Esmeralda Soria did support Jim Costa in his previous congressional run, but this time, she feels ads against her have been done in poor taste.

"You know, for me, I was extremely disappointed in Jim," Soria said. "He used very Trump-like tactics."

Congressman Costa says he's just running an aggressive campaign like he always has.

"They're truthful ads," Costa said. "I'm really very proud of the endorsement ad that she made."

Costa is asking voters for two more years to secure permanent funding for high-speed rail and continue his fight for more water.

He says his struggle puts him in a position to be a forceful advocate for the Valley.

"My seniority on the house ag committee, my seniority on the natural resources committee that handles water, my membership on the foreign relations, I chair the House Atlantic legislators dialogue," Costa said.

But Soria believes the Valley needs someone in the House of Representatives who does more to help reduce poverty levels.

She says she is campaigning for the average person and working families.

"What has worked for Jim to be in office for the last 40 years isn't working for the average person," Soria said. "My generation and the future generations are struggling to figure out how to pay for college."

Soria and Costa have raised the most money, but the congressional primary also includes progressive Democrat Kim Williams of Merced and Republican Kevin Cookingham, the former head of Clovis Adult Education.

The top two finishers in the primary advance to the November run-off, which means that both Costa and Soria could advance even though both are Democrats.

The 16th district includes parts of Fresno, Madera and Merced counties.
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