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Politics 101

Facing State Term Limits, Will This Valley Legislator Pivot to Congress?



Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno. (GV Wire/Johnny Soto)
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Asking a politician if they are interested in higher office can be a trap question.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

If they answer in a roundabout way, they technically did not say ‘no.’ If they do say ‘no,’ then no one believes them (see Newsom, Gavin).

One political rumor finds state Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, running for Congress in 2024 in the seat currently held by Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno.

Arambula is running for his fifth Assembly term (his fourth full term, after first being elected in a 2016 special election). In theory, he is eligible to run one more time for Assembly in 2024 under state term limits.

Politics 101 asked Arambula directly. He says he’s happy with his current employment.

“I like my job. I think I’m doing a great job in Sacramento and I’m proud of the ability to get bills signed and to bring resources back home,” Arambula said.

But does he want to do the same in Washington?

“I’m honored that people think about me when they think about representation at their nation’s capital. But I like my job and I’m going to keep doing it,” he said.

Notice, he didn’t say ‘no.’

Since this story first published, the campaign told Politics 101 they believe the 12-year limit allows Arambula to run in 2026.

The state Constitution just says 12 years total between the Assembly and Senate. If Arambula served through 2028, that would put him at approximately 12 years, eight months.

Also in Politics 101 …

  • Arambula’s solutions for California energy.
  • Dyer headed to Europe for housing conference.
  • A new playground for downtown Fresno park.
  • Fresno Democrats discuss anti-GOP support policy.

Arambula on the Heat

How does Arambula plan to fix California’s energy production problem? He cited his vote to keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County open.

“That will allow us to keep the 11% that it has into our energy grid secure for the next few years. That was a big step forward for us to take as a state to make sure that was part of our portfolio to address the energy issues that we have,” Arambula said.

And what about after that?

“We’re going to continue to look into it and we’ll be happy to get back to you,” he said.

Dyer Headed to European Housing Conference

Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer is headed to Austria for the Vienna Social Housing Academy conference starting Sept. 11.

“We want to learn new ways of doing business. We are in a housing crisis. They, one time, were in a housing crisis. They were able to navigate it and they were able to do it in a way that provides affordable housing to people within their city. And that’s what we’re looking for here, too,” Dyer said.

His delegation includes Deputy City Manager Matthew Grundy and Chief of Staff Kelli Furtado. City funds will be used for the trip. Dyer calls it “an investment.”

“This trip will give … put us in a position to where we can receive substantial funding for the city and the state of California for housing,” Dyer said.

Ashley Swearengin, president/CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation and former Fresno mayor, will also attend.

Not all are happy to see Dyer go.

“The mayor has failed to propose one new housing project in his tenure and too many projects are stuck in the planning department. I don’t see how a European trip with others that failed to address housing affordability in our city will solve our housing crisis in Fresno,” said City Councilman Miguel Arias.

Mayor Jerry Dyer visits with friends at Dickey Playground in downtown Fresno. (GV Wire/David Taub)

New Playground for Dickey Park

Before Dyer leaves, he cut the ribbon on a new playground structure at Dickey Park in downtown Fresno. It was ten years in the making.

“That’s far too long for a project. But when we learned that this was in the making, and so I first came into my administration, I believe we fast tracked it the best we could because we wanted to provide this community, especially these kids, with something that they’ll be very, very proud of,” Dyer said.

The $340,000 costs is funded mainly through Community Development Block Grant dollars. It includes a playground, a spinner and a swing set.

The equipment was ordered years ago, but some of it got damaged while being stored in a warehouse. Parks director Aaron Aguirre was unsure how much that cost the city to reorder.

The lesson?

“Build it faster,” Aguirre said.

Children enjoy the new play structure at Dickey Playground in downtown Fresno. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Dems Discuss Investigating Those Supporting GOP

The Fresno County Democratic Party held its Central Committee meeting Wednesday night. Among the agenda items was a proposal to investigate members who are supporting a Republican Susan Wittrup, who is running for Fresno Unified School Board,

No decision was made, but a vote to remove members for violating the party’s bylaw could happen in October.

One attendee told Politics 101 that it seemed like “a witch hunt.”

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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