Democratic candidate Andrew Janz earned the Fresno Bee's support, while Nunes earned the title of 'Trump's stooge.'
This weekend, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) suffered another blow to his re-election effort: His hometown paper, the Fresno Bee, endorsed Democratic candidate Andrew Janz to represent California's 22nd congressional district.
After having endorsed Nunes in eight previous races, dating back to 2002, the paper revealed Saturday that it is recommending Janz because he "offers the best chance to both lead the district by attending to its issues and then by striving for bipartisanship in Washington, D.C."
The paper praised Janz for his independence and accessibility, particularly his willingness to meet with constituents. "Janz promises to hold at least four town hall meetings a year and have mobile office hours," the paper noted.
The paper also praised Janz for a number of policy positions, including his insistence that people with pre-existing conditions remain protected under Obamacare.
But Nunes voted in favor of a Republican plan that would have gutted those protections, and as the Bee's editorial board points out, contained Medicaid cuts that would have hit residents of the 22nd district particularly hard.
"In Nunes’ district, 313,000 people were enrolled in Medi-Cal [California's version of Medicaid] as of January," the paper notes. "Of those, 74,000 would have immediately lost coverage, and all would have had their coverage impacted through loss of benefits or access to doctors."
Finally, the paper recommended Janz over the partisanship "that motivates [Nunes] to protect President Trump from the investigation into Russian meddling more than meet his constitutional obligations as an independent arm of government."
That urge to protect Trump at all costs — even at the expense of national security — had previously earned Nunes the title of "Trump's stooge" from the Bee's editors. Nunes has engaged in a long-term effort to undermine the Mueller investigation that includes a plot to oust Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Nunes has responded to criticism from his hometown paper by lashing out at them in ads, including a 40-page mailer accusing the Bee of being a "propaganda machine" — the same Fresno Bee that supported him for 16 years.
But they weren't fooled this time.