Things are getting negative in the race for the Fresno City Council District 5 seat.
The two candidates vying to represent southeast Fresno are trading accusations impugning each other’s character.
GV Wire asked incumbent Luis Chavez and challenger Paula Yang to respond.
Yang Accuses Chavez of Destroying Signs
In a Facebook video, Yang accused Luis Chavez’s campaign of desecrating her campaign signs.
“Somebody, my opponent’s team, came out here and they vandalized my sign,” she said on camera, with her last name cut out of a giant sign on a street corner.
She reiterated the accusations during an interview with GV Wire.
“Right after the primary election, two days later, 50 of my signs were stolen. Who would have done it? Who would want 50 signs of Paula Yang” she asked.
Asked if she had any proof of Chavez’s involvement, Yang said she didn’t.
“People see it in the road. How would it look, you representing me as an individual? And you, go out there and put my name, Paula Yang, up. And, your team comes out and decapitates my name out. Who would have done it?” she said.
Yang said gender may be a motivator.
“I’m the only female. I know he ran his campaign in office for 10 years. He’s never attacked nobody. But, I’m a woman. Why?”
Chavez denied the accusations.
“I’ve never touched anybody’s signs. I wish I had spare time because I would spend it more wisely than touching people’s signs. I think that shows a lot about her inexperience and not having done this before,” Chavez said.
Yang’s Voting Record
Chavez raised has questions about Yang’s voting record.
According to the Fresno County election clerk’s office, Yang voted in Fresno in the general elections of 2006 and 2008, then not again until the 2016 presidential election.
Asked to explain the eight-year gap, she said, “I’m not too sure about the registering of that part.”
She mentioned that she lived back and forth between Fresno and Merced.
According to the Merced County elections office, Yang was registered there between 2009 and 2016 but did not cast a vote.
“I’m not an active voter. Like everybody else in District 5, we promote all the congressional leaders and offices … just discouraged about voting because we don’t believe that our district will ever get the attention that it needs,” Yang said.
Lawsuit Over Co-Signed Loan
Court records show Kings Credit Services filed a lawsuit against Yang and another plaintiff, Albert Robert Gaxiola, in 2005, seeking more than $4,000 in damages.
Yang said she co-signed a loan for a mother of one of her employees when she ran a real estate office.
“All these years, I don’t know what happened to it. Doing a good deed, you get stuck with some bad record on it. It is just helping another elderly lady. I went to trace it down, the lady has now passed away. The whole family is deceased, so I’m stuck with that,” Yang said.
She said that she is making arrangements to take care of it.
Yang did not know who Gaxiola is, saying he is from the lady’s family.