TJ Cox, Congressman-elect for the 21st Congressional District, paid a visit to TBC Media's webcast studio Thursday.
Cox, who defeated the incumbent Republican, David Valadao, in a close race that was decided only a couple of weeks ago, laid out some of his priorities in a 15-minute conversation with The Californian's Robert Price.
Cox will be sworn in Jan. 3.
At the top of his list is federal funding to help combat the pervasive poverty of the 21st District, which covers portions of Kern County and Fresno counties, all of Kings and Tulare counties and includes the communities of Hanford, Delano, Wasco, Shafter, Lamont and southeast Bakersfield.
He noted that the 21st District's poverty rate is in the same range as Appalachia and Mississippi, but those areas receive substantially more federal aid than the southern San Joaquin Valley.
Cox noted that Valadao has been gracious and helpful during the transition and that his staff will likely be moving into at least one of Valadao's district offices.
Cox plans to have four town hall meetings in his district each year, he said.
Cox acknowledged that dissatisfaction in his heavily Latino district with President Trump was likely a factor in his victory because, thanks to disagreement on immigration issues such as DACA, turnout among Latino voters was strong.
But he said the possibility of Trump's impeachment is not something that is on his radar.
Many people regarded Cox's victory as something of an upset, but FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver gave him a 64.34 percent probability of winning.
Cox created the Central Valley Fund, which raises money for projects in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the Central Valley. Since its start in 2010, the Central Valley Fund has raised $65 million to build health clinics, job-training centers, affordable housing and clean energy plants.
Price's interview with Cox is on bakersfield.com.