Nunes’s hometown newspaper endorses opponent in midterms

The Fresno Bee on Sunday endorsed Democrat Andrew Janz over Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesComey’s confession: dossier not verified before, or after, FISA warrant GOP struggles to find right Republican for Rules FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet MORE (R-Calif.) in next month's election in California's 22nd Congressional District.

"Voters in the 22nd District ... can elect a representative who will both help them with their needs, listen to their concerns and invite them into the process, and chart a bipartisan course that the nation must find if it is to meet the challenges of the future. That leader is Andrew Janz," the paper's editorial board wrote.

"Voters can also choose Nunes and remain stuck with the damaging partisanship he practices, the party-above-country mode that motivates him to protect President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' MORE from the investigation into Russian meddling more than meet his constitutional obligations as an independent arm of government," the editorial continued. "Then there is his lack of regard for the needs of his part of California."

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The Bee, which is among the most prominent news outlets in the district, credited Janz for his views on addressing illegal immigration, implementing gun control without eliminating the ability for law-abiding citizens to arm themselves, and protecting health-care access for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

The news outlet noted that it twice invited Nunes to speak with the editorial board ahead of declaring an endorsement, and the congressman did not respond either time. The editorial board suggested that reflected Nunes's larger lack of accountability to voters in his district.

Janz has risen in prominence in recent months thanks to millions of dollars worth of fundraising hauls in his challenge to Nunes.

The California Republican has carved out a national profile for himself as one of Trump's staunchest allies. Nunes has been at the forefront of efforts by conservative lawmakers to uncover alleged bias against the president within the Justice Department and FBI.

While The Fresno Bee noted that this year marks the first time in more than 15 years that it is endorsing someone other than Nunes, the paper and Nunes have traded barbs in recent months.

The editorial board earlier this year wrote that Nunes had become Trump's "stooge," and criticized him for leading GOP attacks on the FBI.

Meanwhile, Nunes, as the newspaper acknowledged, has slammed the publication for having what he deems a “leftist, liberal, socialist” agenda.