Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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November 3, 2020 — California General Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 20

Photo of Jimmy Panetta

Jimmy Panetta

United States Representative
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protecting Our Environment - Protecting the unique and pristine environment of the Central Coast of California will always be one of my top priorities.
  • Housing and Homelessness - I will continue to fight for greater access to affordable housing on the Central Coast. I am a strong supporter of federal housing programs for veterans, low-income families and the homeless.
  • Immigration Reform - In Congress I have been working to keep families together, protect Dreamers and farmworkers, and find a meaningful pathway to citizenship.



Profession:United States Representative, CA - 20
United States Representative, United States House of Representatives — Elected position (2016–current)
Deputy District Attorney, Monterey County District Attorney's Office (2010–2016)
Lieutenant - Reserve Component, United States Navy (2003–2011)
Deputy District Attorney, Alameda County District Attorney's Office (1996–2010)


Santa Clara University Juris Doctor, Law (1996)
University of California, Davis Bachelor of Arts, International Relations (1991)
Monterey Peninsula College Associate of Arts, General Education (1989)

Community Activities

Board Member, Veterans Transition Center (not availa–not availa)
Board Member, Rancho Cielo Youth Campus (not availa–not availa)
Board Member, Community Foundation for Monterey County (not availa–not availa)
Board Member, National Steinbeck Center (not availa–not availa)
Chair, Monterey Peninsula College Citizens Bond Oversight Committee (not availa–not availa)


From an early age, Jimmy Panetta was instilled with the value of service and the importance of giving back to our community and country.

Jimmy is the representative for the 20th Congressional District, representing the Central Coast of California which encompasses all of Monterey and San Benito Counties, and portions of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.  He was first elected to serve this region in 2016.


​In Congress, Jimmy serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, the House Committee on Agriculture, and the House Committee on Budget.  Jimmy Co-Chairs the Agriculture Research Caucus and the Cut Flowers Caucus, and also serves on the following Caucuses: Bus Caucus, California Aerospace Caucus, Cannabis Caucus, Cybersecurity Caucus, Diabetes Caucus, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Caucus, For Country Caucus, Friends of Australia Caucus, Gun Violence Task Force, LGBT Equality Caucus, Military Mental Health Caucus, National Service Congressional Caucus, Navy Marine Corps Caucus, Oceans Caucus, Organic Caucus, Pro-Choice Caucus, Problem Solvers Caucus, Progressive Caucus, Quiet Skies Caucus, and the Travel & Tourism Caucus.

Jimmy began his legal career in 1996 as a prosecutor for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. Based on his experience in the criminal justice system — pursuing justice for victims, protecting families and making communities safer — Jimmy was appointed to the California Councils on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, which provided guidance to the Governor’s Office on critical criminal justice programs.  Prior to being elected to Congress, Jimmy served as a Deputy District Attorney in Monterey County, where he was assigned to the Gang Team in Salinas, responsible for prosecuting violent gang members.


In 2003, Jimmy was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer with the United States Navy Reserve and served on active duty with a Special Operations task force deployed to Afghanistan. Based on his meritorious service in a combat zone, Jimmy was awarded the Bronze Star.  After returning home, Jimmy served as a board member of the Veterans Transition Center where he worked to address veterans’ homelessness and pushed for the opening of Monterey County’s first Veterans Treatment Court, and along with local leaders and fellow veterans, worked to establish the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery.  Based on his work, Jimmy was named a Monterey County Veteran of the Year in 2015.

Jimmy has also served on the Boards of Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, a non-profit that assists at-risk youth with job training and placement, Community Foundation for Monterey County, and the National Steinbeck Center.  He also served as Chair of the Monterey Peninsula College Citizens Bond Oversight Committee and as a Trustee on the Foundation for the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Jimmy received his law degree from Santa Clara University and his undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of California at Davis.  Prior to attending UC Davis, Jimmy attended Monterey Peninsula College.

Jimmy is married to Carrie McIntyre Panetta, and they have two daughters, Siri and Gia.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages to secure affordable health care?
Answer from Jimmy Panetta:

I have been fighting to make healthcare affordable and accessible for all.  In Congress I worked to reduce prescription drug prices and to stop attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act that would have taken away healthcare for thousands of people on the Central Coast.

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House of Representatives.
Answer from Jimmy Panetta:

Immigration reform has been one of my top priorities.  In Congress I have been working to keep families together, protect Dreamers and farmworkers, and find a meaningful pathway to citizenship. As the grandson of immigrants, it is important to me that all people have the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid, and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Jimmy Panetta:

Congress needs to partner with regions, states, and municipalities to address America’s infrastructure needs. Not only must we repair and rebuild aging infrastructure that holds local economies back, we need to build the innovative infrastructure of the future. This includes finally dealing with backlogged transportation and water projects, investing in a modern electrical grid, and increasing access to high-speed internet service networks like 5G in rural and underserved urban areas.

Who gave money to this candidate?


Total money raised: $1,706,695

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

Abbott Laboratories
American Crystal Sugar
American Federation of Teachers
American Podiatric Medical Association
Association of Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisees
Blue Diamond Growers
Blue Shield of California
California Dairies
Deere & Company
Farm Credit Council
Honeywell International
International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers
National Association of Realtors
Southern Company
United Fresh Produce Association

More information about contributions

By State:

District of Columbia 35.16%
California 30.37%
Virginia 8.61%
Illinois 4.04%
Other 21.82%

By Size:

Large contributions (96.70%)
Small contributions (3.30%)

By Type:

From organizations (72.83%)
From individuals (27.17%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As your Member of Congress, I strive to give people the opportunity for a better life.

​Raised on the Central Coast in a family committed to public service, I have worked hard to uphold that tradition. As a local deputy district attorney, I delivered justice for victims and their families and helped steer gang members away from a life of crime. As an Officer in the U.S. Navy, I fought for our country in Afghanistan.

Now, as a member of Congress, I am fighting for you by preserving and improving the quality of life that we enjoy on the Central Coast. I am working tirelessly to protect our environment, make housing more affordable, support our schools and teachers, lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, reform our immigration system, and boost our economy to help create better paying jobs.  I will continue to bring new ideas and civility to Congress and our community so that we can work together to solve problems.

I hope to earn your support so that I can continue to serve you and represent our home by making a difference in people’s lives.

Videos (4)

— September 8, 2020 Jimmy Panetta for Congress

Protecting the Environment

— September 8, 2020 Jimmy Panetta for Congress

Affordable Housing

— September 8, 2020 Jimmy Panetta for Congress


— September 8, 2020 Jimmy Panetta for Congress


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