Rep. Jim Costa (D) has drawn an opponent, with businessman and Vietnam veteran Jim Lopez (R) announcing this week that he intends to challenge the incumbent next year.
According to a press release put out by the Lopez campaign, the Republican is the past vice president of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Tax Advisory Committee for the California Board of Equalization, and a recipient of the Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year Award from the United States Small Business Administration.
Lopez faces an uphill climb in the 20th district, as enrolled Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 16 points. In his statement announcing his candidacy, Lopez did not mention Costa by name.
“Education, economic development, unemployment and protecting our vital water resources are issues important to our district, yet our current Representative and the Congressional leadership of which he is a part continues to engage in the petty politics of false promise and inaction,” Lopez said. “This is not leadership.”
Costa ran unopposed last year, after defeating state Sen. Roy Ashburn (R) by less than 7 points in 2004.
— David M. Drucker