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Smittcamp Endorses Zanoni in Sheriff’s Race



Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp (left) is endorsing John Zanoni for sheriff. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Fresno County Sheriff candidate John Zanoni received a major endorsement from the Fresno County district attorney.

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David Taub

Politics 101

Lisa Smittcamp officially endorsed Zanoni on Wednesday.

“I have worked with John for many years, and have always been impressed by his dedication to public safety and his willingness to be collaborative. He cares about victims and this community, and I am looking forward to working with him in the future,” Smittcamp said.

Zanoni, an assistant sheriff, also has the endorsement of the woman he wants to succeed, Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Mark Salazar, a Fresno Police Department deputy chief, is the only other candidate. Voters have until June 7 to return ballots or vote in person.

Mims declined to run for a fifth term, having served as the county’s top law enforcer since 2007. She will remain in office until Jan. 2, 2023.

Also in Politics 101

  • A city council subpoena attempt fails.
  • New jobs for two Fresno politicos.

Karbassi’s Subpoena Request Fails

At Thursday’s Fresno City Council meeting, Mike Karbassi requested that the council subpoena Tower Theatre owner Laurence Abbate.

Karbassi wanted Abbate to answer questions about city’s purchase of the theater and surrounding properties for $6.5 million. The deal also includes an agreement by the city to defend against any lawsuits and pay any potential damages emerging from the transaction.

But, a majority of Karbassi’s colleagues didn’t think that the questioning was needed. Miguel Arias removed the item from the agenda, and a vote to return it failed, 4-2 (with only Karbassi and Gary Bredefeld in support and Luis Chavez absent).

While the city council has subpoena power, it is rarely — if ever —used. Politics 101 reached out to city attorneys who have served Fresno over the past 30 years. None recalled a subpoena being issued.

Felix Is New Chief of Staff for Soria

Gilbert Felix is now the chief of staff for Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria. He replaces longtime chief Terry Cox who left earlier this year to work for the Mayor Jerry Dyer’s administration.

This is Felix’s second time around for Soria, having worked as a staffer previously. He is also running for the State Center Community College District Board of Trustees.

Gilbert Felix is the new chief of staff for Esmeralda Soria. (Twitter/Gilbert Felix)

Matt Rogers Goes to Work for Fiona Ma

Matt Rogers, a former staffer to then-Sen. Kamala Harris in her Fresno office, is returning to public service.

Rogers will work in California Treasurer Fiona Ma’s communications office. He has been working on his family’s ranch in the interim.

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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