UC Merced's part of Costa Country now.
Chancellor Dorothy Leland said she heard that Dennis Cardoza "handed off" the campus to fellow Congressman Jim Costa during a recent dinner in the nation’s capitol.
Voters still have to make the ultimate decision who'll replace Cardoza in the redrawn congressional district representing Merced, but hey, it's a nice gesture.
Costa has until Nov. 6 to show Mercedians he bleeds blue and gold, though he probably should avoid kissing any bobcats until the medical school opens.
Cardoza also apparently passed the baton on issues such as high-speed rail -- though we're not sure if that's an endorsement or an albatross.
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Speaking of Jim Costa, Mercedians have seen a lot of him these days. The Fresno Democrat stopped by the Sun-Star this week to introduce himself. He's been to UC Merced. One eagle-eyed reader even reported seeing him ordering coffee at the downtown Merced Starbucks. It's all part of his whirlwind tour of introductions in the new 16th Congressional District, which includes all of Merced County and parts of Fresno and Madera counties.
Costa has represented the South Valley in Congress since 2005, but he’s not unfamiliar with Merced County. He represented the area in the California State Assembly in the 80s, and his grandparents once ran a dairy near Le Grand. The guy gets around.
He's also planning a fundraiser on Feb. 23 at the Italo American Lodge. It's called "Pasta for Costa," so we're assuming supporters watching their carbohydrates are in for a disappointment.