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Soria Has Big Fundraising Lead in Valley’s Only Open State Seat



Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria leads in contributions for the open AD 27 seat. (GV Wire File)
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Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria has established a big financial lead in the open Assembly District 27 seat. In figures reported to the state last week, Soria, a Democrat, raised more than the three other contestants in the race combined. She reports contributions of $378,925.

Of the eight seats in the state Legislature on the June primary ballot, only one is wide open — Assembly District 27 representing parts of Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties.

“The contributions made across the Central Valley have shown just how hungry Assembly District 27 is for change. With this level of support, it is clear that I am in a position to advance in the June Primary and win outright in November,” Soria said in a news release.

The seven other local state Senate and Assembly seats follow a reality in politics — incumbents dominate and fundraising never stops.

Even if a candidate achieves more than 50% of the vote June 7, the top two in each race will advance to the November general election, regardless of political party.

An Open AD 27 Seat

Soria has a long list of support — from other Democratic elected leaders to endorsements and financial support from labor groups.

She also transferred funds from her city council account which include some unusual lines on her ledger. Councilman Garry Bredefeld contributed $500 to Soria in 2018. That money is now transferred over. Bredefeld and Soria are often at political odds on the city council dais. Both have resorted to name-calling several times.

Another 2018 transfer of note — $500 from Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno. Soria ran against Costa for Congress in 2020 but failed to advance beyond the primary.

Former Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin is second of the four candidates in the District 27 race, raising $110,436. Fresno City Councilman Mike Karbassi has raised $71,005.

Granville Homes, Inc. contributed $4,900 to Karbassi. Darius Assemi is the president/CEO of Granville and the publisher of GV Wire.

The maximum an individual or company can contribute is $4,900 per election cycle; political action and small contributor committees can give more.

From left to right: Esmeralda Soria, Mike Karbassi, Mark Pazin, and Amanda Fleming are running to represent Assembly District 27. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

Three in Six-Figures for SD 16

The most fastidious challenge to an incumbent in Senate District 16, where three candidates have raised six figures — incumbent Melissa Hurtado, D-Bakersfield, Democrat Nicole Parra of Bakersfield, and Republican David Shepard of Porterville.

Hurtado moved to Bakersfield and switched districts to avoid an incumbent vs. incumbent showdown against Anna Caballero, D-Merced, in SD 14. The move seemed to financially pay off for both candidates.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, is in his last election before terming out, and he does not have a challenger. At a war chest of nearly a half-million dollars, he could be a very popular man among fellow Republican office-seekers in the future.

State Legislature Fundraising

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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