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Heng Enters House Race Even as the Lines Keep Changing



Congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng speaks at Fresno's Downtown Rotary Club meeting
Elizabeth Heng says she is entering the 2022 congressional race. (GV Wire File)
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Elizabeth Heng is the latest contestant in the congressional sweepstakes to replace Devin Nunes.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

“Devin Nunes has left an inspirational legacy, and I hope to continue the work he has started. Fresno and the Central Valley have always been my hope and my inspiration,” Heng said in a news release announcing her run.

The tech entrepreneur and one-time congressional candidate said she will run in the special election to fulfill the remainder of Nunes’ term through Jan. 3, 2023, and for the full-term regular election starting in 2023.

She had planned to run for U.S. Senate in 2022 against Alex Padilla.

Heng put on a spirited effort in 2018 against Jim Costa, making a splash with her provocative political advertising. One TV spot showed a Costa look-a-like walking around in “Nancy Pelosi’s shoes.” Another Heng ad — banned for a time on social media — showed the horrors of her ancestral home in Cambodia.

The ads didn’t work, as Costa won 58%-42%.

The Sunnyside High School-alumna currently runs her own tech startup called The New Internet (a fan of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” apparently!).

Also in Politics 101: 

  • Where the congressional lines lie.
  • An update to the state Senate lines.

Update on the Congressional Lines

A look at where north Fresno could be drawn in the latest congressional map as of Friday morning (CCRC)

Just when Politics 101 or any journalist covering the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission is about to report an update to the map, things change.

The commission has seemingly changed daily how the congressional map will divide Fresno and Clovis.

At the start of Friday’s meeting, the challenge of placing Modesto completely changed the calculus.

Friday morning’s change has north Fresno in the “Sacramento” district with the northern half of Modesto and several “Gold Country” counties (also described as “mountain counties”). The district would not stretch as far as the Nevada border.

State Sen. Andreas Borgeas, R-Fresno, could benefit. His current district represents several communities in the proposed “Sacramento” district.

Clovis and parts of east Fresno remain in the “Fresno-Kern” district, the home territory of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The running joke among meeting watchers was about Old Fig Garden. The commission has spent an inordinate amount of time on where to place the Fresno neighborhood, flip-flopping which district it will go. The latest plan is the more-Democratic friendly “Fresno-Tulare” district.

By the time you read this, the lines may have changed 17 more times.

The Latest Senate Lines

The latest version of the state Senate lines could be a relief for Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger. She would not have to compete with Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Salinas. The first version of the map had them in the same district.

If Andreas Borgeas opts to run for Congress instead of a second Senate term, it would open a seat for an eager candidate.

However, the district that encompasses north Fresno would now head southward, to include Visalia and other parts of Tulare and Kern Counties. Currently, Senate District 8 covers much of eastern California and moves inward to cover Turlock and parts of eastern Sacramento County.

Shannon Grove, the Republican senator who lives in the outskirts of Bakersfield, would still represent her hometown, but the district would shift north to include northern Kern County and Kings County. The latter is currently part of Hurtado’s Senate District 14.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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