Janz following high road to Congress

Andrew Janz recently met with supporters in Exeter. John Dillon/Valley Voice

Andrew Janz is worried about the American Dream.

The 34-year-old, who is taking on Rep. Devin Nunes this November in the midterm elections as the Democratic challenger, says he wants to preserve the ideals that made this country a bastion of freedom and offered his family a pathway to success.

He wants, he says, to be the man his parents–and this nation and its ideals–have offered him the chance to be.


Coming to America

Janz is the son of two immigrants. His father is the Canadian-born son of parents who left Germany to escape the post-WWII chaos and who eventually settled in the US. His mother was born and raised in Thailand.

As a young man, Janz’ father opted for a period of service in the US Peace Corps, and it was while stationed in Southeast Asia he met his future wife. The couple–Dirk and Sirigun–wanted to give the family they would one day raise the greatest range of possible options for their future. It came down to one single and obvious choice.

“They decided the United States was the best place to raise a family,” Janz said. “It still is.”

But, it may not be that way for long, Janz fears.

“What used to be the American Dream is at risk,” he said. “I want to make sure the same opportunities that were afforded to my parents and to me are protected for future generations.”


A Man to Admire

When asked to name people he admires, Janz mentions Abraham Lincoln first. Then, he talks about his dad.

“Him being in the Peace Corps and committing his early adult life to serving the country and forging relationships with others around the world, that was something that I always admired in him and something I wanted to replicate in my own way,” Janz said.

The idea of public service as a way of life came early to Janz, who decided while a student at Redwood High School in Visalia, where the young family eventually put down roots. A degree in economics, Janz decided, would be an ideal launch platform for his career as an attorney. Along the way, he also picked up a master’s in public administration at Cal State Stanislaus, before taking his law degree at the Southwestern School of Law at Los Angeles.

His ideal education complete, and a few years experience as a legal research assistant to a California Court of Appeals justice and clerk to a district judge in Nevada under his belt, Janz returned to the Valley–he lives with wife Heather and works as a prosecutor for the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office–to pursue his dream of making a difference. His run for federal office is a continuation of that dream.

Janz hopes he’s not too late.

“We are moving away from that,” he said. “We are isolating ourselves from the world and instead of building bridges, we’re talking about building walls.”


A Social Safety Net

When Janz’ grandparents left Germany to escape the utter destruction left in the wake of World War II, the poverty, the degradation and hopelessness, what they sought was a haven. The family found it here.

Now, their grandson believes our president–and by extension Nunes, who served on Trump’s transition team and has repeatedly found himself at the center of national controversy–is undermining that sense of America as a sanctuary and global stalwart of democracy.

“I see this administration chipping away at what has traditionally been the US role in the world, which is sort of the beacon of hope for people,” Janz said.

However the true appeal of America, says Janz, the quality that drew his family here, is the idea our citizens look out for one another. The sense of an obligation to care for our fellow citizens, he says, is best exemplified by the political party his grandparents and then parents joined when they arrived on US soil.

“That’s why I’m a Democrat,” he said, “and that’s what Democrats have traditionally been champion for, making sure that we protect our obligations to our neighbors and our communities.”


Not Red v Blue

While he’s a lifelong Democrat, Janz is still willing to call out his own party for its role in creating today’s America. His website calls out “corrupt politicians from both sides of the aisle” for what they have done to keep the Central Valley locked in poverty, polluted and largely outside looking in.

Nunes, he says, has ignored constituents and their problems, instead focusing efforts on aiding Donald Trump in his attempts to stifle the bipartisan congressional investigation into any connections between Russian agents and Trump’s presidential campaign. What matters to the voters here, Janz says, are more jobs, more water and strengthening our country’s social supports. Those, he says, are issues that should concern all voters in the 22nd District no matter their affiliation.

“I’ve been very upfront and honest with voters that it’s not a red-vs-blue race. It’s a race about the issues,” Janz said. “Nunes isn’t talking about any of his positions. He hasn’t even put out a ballot statement. We can’t support someone who does that.”


No More Outside Corporate Influence

The race for the 22nd Congressional District is perhaps the most watched midterm in the nation given Nunes’ recent ability to attract unflattering attention to himself and the Central Valley. Nunes is also drawing outside money and the pull it can buy. Much of Nunes funding comes from donors with no presence in the district.

As of the end of June, Nunes raised more than twice what the Janz campaign bought in. Nunes has also outspent the Democrat, putting nearly $4.5 million into his seventh reelection campaign. Janz has spent just a bit over $1.7 million in the same time frame.

Those numbers, however, don’t reveal how the voters who will make the decision on who will represent them really feel. When it comes to raising money inside the boundaries of the 22nd District, Janz is way out ahead.

“It’s astonishing I’ve been able to out-raise him in the district,” he said. “I think that speaks to the support we have here on the ground, and even beyond that. I take a greater percentage of my donations from within the district than he does.”

Janz also refuses to take corporate donations. Once you’re bought, he says, you have to stay that way.

“I think that’s the wrong approach,” said Janz. “When you take that money, you’re beholden to them. You have to keep voting a certain way to make sure that money keeps coming in.”

The average contribution to the Janz campaign is just $19.

“We are No. 3 in the nation (in fundraising). So, this shows you don’t need corporate money to run a viable, successful campaign,” Janz said. “And, I’ve been very honest with my supporters that I’m going to continue to not take this money, even if it’s to my detriment.”


‘The Right Thing for the Country’

As American politics have taken on an increasingly bitter tone over the last decades, it’s become common practice for commentators and observers to assign labels such as “conservative” and “progressive” to politicians and their supporters. If Janz is going to win in this traditionally Republican stronghold, he must shatter those illusions and destroy those false narratives. His first step has been avoiding being placed in a pigeonhole.

“I get asked all the time what am I in the political spectrum,” he said. “I’m going to leave that up to the voters. I’ll let you make that determination.”

Party affiliation, he says, is far less important than a politician’s stance on issues of concern to his constituency. Janz repeats that message often as he attempts to capitalize on growing dissatisfaction among Republican voters nationwide and at home.

“We do events where we invite people of all political stripes to attend,” he said. “I go to Rotary Club meetings, Lions Club meetings, places where Republicans traditionally go. This isn’t a race where we’re just targeting Democrats.”

Because many of his stances match many of those of voters who call themselves conservative, Janz says they’re receptive and supportive of him.

“That’s indicative of what’s happening all over the place,” he said. “I have a ton of farmers who are supporting me. So, it’s happening.”

He’s also making inroads with local GOP leaders, a reuniting of political adversaries that mimics the pre-Trump era.

“There are elected officials who are coming around in the end,” Janz said. “(It’s) very evident people like (Sen. John) McCain and (President Barack) Obama were able to at times put aside their partisan differences and do the right thing for the country.”


Right Thing for the Valley

Potential voters also seem to feel Janz should be their congressman. At the end of June, polling showed Janz trailing by 8 points among likely voters. Two months later, Janz is only 5 points behind and gaining ground.

Perhaps Nunes’ return to the national spotlight is pushing his former supporters to the Janz campaign. In July, Nunes made headlines for his lavish spending of donors’ contributions on items such as limos, court-side basketball tickets, lavish dinners and posh hotels. Last week, he was in the spotlight again as he made an unannounced trip to England, apparently in an attempt to interview those responsible for the so-called Steele Memo, a report on possible influence Russia may hold over Trump.

It could also be the fact the Democrats are spending money on a race here for the first time in living memory.

“There’s a lot of folks who haven’t voted for Democrats in years in Tulare County, but that’s because the Demos haven’t fielded a real candidate,” Janz said.

That’s different now. Janz and his supporters believe he’s the real thing.

46 thoughts on “Janz following high road to Congress

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  1. This is not journalism. It is a (presumably unpaid) campaign ad. It includes falsehoods such as the well-debunked claim that Nunes traveled to England to conduct interviews regarding the Steele Dossier. If the Valley Voice ever had any credibility, this story reduces it to a purely fictional tabloid and nothing else in this rag can be taken seriously.

  2. Can you introduce me to the local constituent who met with Nunes in the last 2 weeks of August? Of course you can’t. Nunes thinks meeting with constituents or local reporters is “a joke”.
    Of course Nunes went to England to try to meet with British Intel. It turns out they think Nunes is the joke:
    Nunes isn’t the biggest Congressional loser right now since he is not under indictment like Duncan Hunter or Chris Collins, but he is dangerously close.

    • Congressman Nunes was meeting with troops overseas in the latter part of August, pursuant to his duties on the House Intelligence Committee.
      He was in London for less than 24 hours, as a natural stopover for that trip. If you have done any traveling you will know that London is the gateway to many European and Middle Eastern destinations.
      The ridiculous rumors to which you allude are false, and nicely debunked here:

      • From Nunes’ own blog, to which you linked:
        “I just returned from a trip overseas for the House Intelligence Committee, having met with government, military, and intelligence officials in various countries.”

        So your assertion is that while Nunes met with intelligence officials in “various countries” it is somehow “ridiculous and false” that he tried and failed to meet with some officials in England. And your source for your assertion is the unknown internet site “amgreatness.com”?
        Bless your heart.

  3. Janz has no ideas or plans. It’s easy to take the high road when all you have to do is spout platitudes.

    All he wants is the salary and perks. Sad!

    • Anything over a compromised russian asset. The senate is supposed to hold a checks and balance over the President. Not conspire to protect him. READ THE CONSTITUTION.

    • Your objection to the prospect of Janz receiving the same Congressional salary as the incumbent strikes me as odd, but feel free to vote your conscience.

  4. It looks like this editorial piece was mistakenly placed in the “news” section instead of the “opinion” section of the Valley Voice…..that or they have no journalistic integrity.

  5. People in the Valley are truly STUPID if they vote for Devin Nunes. Career Politician who has done NOTHING for his home district. Highway 99, water for farmers, meet with constituents.

    • Rico, you want to fix water for us farmers, call your state senator and assembly representatives. You want 99 fixed, why are we spending billions on a train, coupled with a $800/vehicle gas tax the California Legislature pushed through without a vote of the people? You want a town hall, ask yourself why would Nunes want to talk to you when you made up your mind, and protest in front of his house with his family at home. I maybe stupid, but at least I know what the hell is going on in the goverment and with issues.

  6. No, they are stupid if they vote in an untried Democrat who is only in it for the money! All I have read and heard are gripes! Janz hasn’t said word one about what he wants to accomplish nor how he intends to achieve his goals. As a tax payer, I will vote for the lesser of two poor choices! Nunes!

  7. I was in the Peace Corps in India & ran for Congress in 1978 – served on Kern County Board of Supervisors from 1977 to ’85 – great article – Janz will be a perfect representative & voice for The Valley

  8. Nunes only accomplishment in over 16 years of congress is using funds to get Celtics tix, and Wine Parties. Nunes is not even a FARMER, he couldn’t milk a cow from his families former Dairy farm!

  9. Congressman Nunes was meeting with troops overseas in the latter part of August, pursuant to his duties on the House Intelligence Committee.
    He was in London for less than 24 hours, as a natural stopover for that trip. If you have done any traveling you will know that London is the gateway to many European and Middle Eastern destinations.
    The ridiculous rumors to which you allude are false, and nicely debunked here:

  10. Sorry for the multiple posts. Your website kept giving me errors when posting. Then suddenly after I mentioned you might be blocking me, they all showed up at once. Weird.

  11. JL…you certainly have been given a venue to speak your piece……which I totally disagree with………..I have met Mr. Nunes 3 times; once at the Portuguese Embassy in 2004, and with an appointment at his D.C. office I was met by an aid under the stairwell outside his office where the aid tried to sell me Devin’s guidelines to change Social Security while I was there to present our senior organizations wants & needs for Social Security & Medicare. The Aid asked me to read Nunes’ pages; I let me know we had already read it and were in disagreement & that is what we were there for. After about 10 minutes under the stairwell … out of his office came Devin telling me he was in a hurry to get to the house floor to make a vote……..have learned since them others were given the same treatment if they were representing working class constituents. He has not had a Town Hall meeting for over a decade; we have invited him to senior Town Hall meetings and yet he either does not respond or ignores our group who represent about One Million Californians. His failure to represent all his constituents (and I am one) shows his priorities lie with the money interests who pay his bills and that money appears to be coming from outside Californian’s borders. As for Janz is in it for the money………….plain bullshit…he already makes a decent living with Fresno County. He more closely understands the trials & tribulations of the working class, the working poor, seniors, veterans, students and the California Taxpayer where Nunes has forgotten his own constituents but remembers well his cronies in the high end money spectrum. Janz is a real hope for change that is so needed not only for the Central Valley for the State & Nation. He damn well has my vote & support.

  12. Great profile piece on a candidate for Congress in CA-22. Andrew Janz has held scores of get-togethers all across the district to speak to voters and answer their questions. That, to me, indicates his readiness to represent the people who live in the district. Just what’s needed for the long-neglected 22nd!

  13. Nunes does not even try to appear as if he has the interest of Tulare County in his heart and mind nor does his conservative base expect anything of him. All his base appears to care about is that he is their handpicked Republican albeit a nonproductive one, which is apparently preferable to them than a possible productive Democrat. Nunes is all about protecting Trump at all costs. He has deceived the American people, distorted and lied about the facts and disgraced his public office. Nunes should have been removed as intelligence committee chairman a long time ago. Ryan needs to do so immediately. It is an extreme long shot that Janz will defeat Nunes come November but let us hope that saner minds prevail and eligible voters actually get out and vote in larger numbers. Janz cares about the valley and he cares about the people of the valley. It would be in the best interest of Tulare County to have a representative whose mission is to work on behalf of his constituents for a change. Nunes grew up as a boy of privilege whose outlook and attitude is born from afluenza. He is a good fit for the Trumplican Party and Trumpism but he is not what Tulare County needs in a representative. VOTE JANZ!

  14. I think Nunes is a bad Representative. I want him replaced.
    But aside from that, you think he is “a boy of privilege…born from affluenza”? Have you ever been to a Tulare County dairy farm? It isn’t exactly Montecito or Bel Air.

    • Yes I have, plenty of times over my lifetime. Nunes was raised in Tulare without much worry concerning most things in his life. Based on a few comments from some who knew him while in high school he played a lot harder than he worked. Lucky for Devin both his parents worked extremely hard, became quite successful and provided quite well for their family. I admire that. If you are talking Trump gold toilets in some of these prominent dairies you probably won’t find one but the main homes they reside in are quite lovely, fabulously furnished (excluding their workers houses), and the grounds that surround the main homes are professionally landscaped to the hilt for their extensive home entertaining. Some of these prominent Tulare County dairies make Montecito or Bel Air look like track homes. Try visiting one of these prominent dairies and get up to the main houses and grounds.

  15. I’ve had the chance to meet Andrew and speak with him at length. I admire this guy. He has integrity and a real passion to serve the district, unlike a certain absent and unproductive representative who has enjoyed a long, cushy ride at our expense.

  16. It’s time to retire Nunes to the farm he doesn’t own, and let someone with the interests of this district foremost in his mind take over.
    Tulare County is regularly in the top 3 in agricultural production in the United States, but it is one of the poorest counties in California. Nunes has done nothing to help change that, and communities with polluted water (if they have water at all) have not seen much help from him.
    Time for a change. Janz for CA22.

  17. So instead you’ll vote for a candidate who is looking for the same cushy ride with no results at all! No thanks. F*** Janz!

  18. “The young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.” Oscar Wilde

    Barbara, truly says a lot about you having to reference someone who has not once voted nor pays any taxes. Give it 10 years, he will be a Republican.

    • If he becomes a Republican he will have to have the party resurrected from the dead zone. That party no longer exist except in name only. It has been in a slow death spiral since Nixon. The current party and those who support it (strictly in my opinion) have been taken over by Trumpism and I now call it the Trumplican Party…..with political leaders who do not show any signs of having courage, dignity, respect, and more importantly intelligence…..truly empty vessels.

      • Exactly what has Democrats provided? Your quick to call Rebublicans, Trumplicans, and be a critic, but yet the Democrats has provided nothing and no platform, except tax tax tax tax, regulate, regulate, regulate…remember Obama? 8 years of hope and change, result 8 years of emptiness and self serving “I” speeches, all while having the media kissing his butt at every turn.

    • Fiscal responsibility is one of the reasons I want Nunes replaced. As he was running for office in 2002, the federal budget deficit was $157 billion. The deficit for FY 2019 is $984 billion.
      Nunes is a proven failure.

      • Nunes caused the 985 Billion deficit, Really? Did Nunes also cause the National Debt to raise 6.7 Trillion under Obama. Nunes is fighting and has fought for our Valley. While Nunes is pushing for Water to our Valley the Liberals (JANZ) were fighting for more water to run into our ocean and to spend BILLIONS on a Super Train that will NEVER pay for itself. Janz is just another Liberal hoping to turn our Valley Dark Blue.

  19. The Valley Voice has become a wing of the democrat party. This is not journalism. It is filled with outright lies and half truths. Did you ask him why his campaign did a FOIA request to Devin Nunes wife. Did you mention that McClatchy is harassing his grandmother and uncle? Nope, you did not. Why don’t you just print i the biggest letters possible. VOTE FOR JANZ. It would be more honest than masquerading as journalism.

  20. have you folks noticed there is nothing negative in the comment section. Even though Nunes is expected to win quite handily. Well, that is because the VV rejects any negative comments on their journalism. Yeah, real classy VV

    • The Valley Voice doesn’t in the least mind any negative comments on our journalism. It’s part of the territory–as is winning awards, which we have done this year for writing and general online excellence. If you don’t like our journalism take it up with the CNPA. That said, I only ever reject comments on any thread when they are personally offensive to someone else who has commented. I certainly don’t delete comments based on content or political stripe.

      • Joseph, interesting response! You present your vanity and remind your audience of an award in defense of your paper. Omission and deletion of comments is subjective based on your biases, that is obvious. Keep alienating your reader base with biased journalism and you just may see the VV shut down again. You know your business model better than I. But I will state this in conclusion, I do not need convincing, I desire balanced objective journalism. If VV cannot provide that, I will find my news elsewhere.

        • Who got their comment deleted? The first comment on this article is against the paper, so is the third, and so is the fifth, and so on and so forth. Certainly this whole comment section seems to veer against the article as a whole.

          The main problem I have been seeing in this thread (I’m the web guy) is that comments with lots of links automatically get put into a queue for manual approval. I don’t get an email when that happens.

          This is a built in spam prevention feature of the WordPress software we use — and if you don’t believe me, here it is directly from their site:

          Hold a comment in the queue if it contains _____ links: Spam comments are designed to get users to click on links in order to drive traffic to other sites. As a result, many spam comments contain multiple links. Setting this option to hold all comments that contain 2 or more links will help catch more spam.

        • And yet FFC continues to read the VV with his continuous negative commenting on anything that might just be pro-Democrat. Curious he can’t see that his daily posts contradicts his own “interesting response”. What in your agenda box FFC? I’ll bet it is not about a Capital One Card.

  21. JANZ, Is just another Liberal Democrat wanting to turn our Central Valley into a extension of San Francisco. He will vote to tax Job creators and give more to the Illegal Aliens Jumping the Border.

    • Janz is not a liberal …. he is a moderate. Try reading and processing what HE says, not the silly talking points that the Nunes campaign emailed to you. In fact Janz may just well be too much of a moderate for some Democrats but he is by far a better choice for Tulare County than Nunes.

  22. I hope Janz’s wins but he can’t be “Mr. Nice guy”. There are more republicans in the district so he has to be very aggressive. People should vote for Janz. Republicans only care about the rich. Nunes has done nothing to help Tulare’s closed hospital or bring jobs to the district. All he has done is chased “conspiracy theories ” and made a fool out of the whole congress. And, Trumps tariffs are hurting farmers.

  23. Prove to me that Janz is in it for more than the money and perks. He offers nothing, which renders him less desirable than Mr. Nunes.

    I vote the lesser of two evils, Nunes.

  24. Mr. Janz I am looking forward to reading as much as tiger is out there as to who you are, what you as upo to and why do you truly want to be up there with those who said much of the same you say. So I’m checking all of those into this race.
    I’ll see for my self if you can make a decision and then go ahead of yourself and Really fight for Us!

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