In what is shaping up to be a political battle royal, Miguel Arias announced he is running for Fresno County Supervisor.
He joins the District 3 race with fellow Fresno City Councilman Luis Chavez, and incumbent Supervisor Sal Quintero. The district covers much of south Fresno, including downtown, as well as unincorporated communities south of Fresno.
“I have spent my time in public service fighting for the people and neighborhoods of Fresno, and I am ready to bring the needs of our neighborhoods to the forefront of the county. As county supervisor, I will work to rebuild our neighborhoods, (and) create stronger and safer neighborhoods by addressing our homeless and housing crisis impacting all Fresno County residents,” Arias said in a statement.
All three candidates are Democrats, with long records of elected service.
The primary is March 5, 2024. If no candidate achieves a majority, the top two will advance to the November 2024 election.
Arias is a two-term city councilman, first winning election in 2018. He previously served as a State Center Community College District board member.
His announcement came with heavy-duty endorsements — Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, former supervisor for the district Henry R. Perea, and several of Arias’ city council colleagues — Nelson Esparza, Tyler Maxwell, and Annalisa Perea.
It is dual endorsements for the Pereas, father and daughter. They both support Arias and Chavez.
“I endorsed Councilman Chavez late last year when he announced his candidacy. Clearly, now that both have announced a run, they are both far better qualified and have the energy to meet the many challenges facing the county then the current holder of the position,” Henry R. Perea told GV Wire.
Chavez, in a statement to GV Wire, said that he is undeterred by his colleague’s announcement.
“I’m 100% committed to running and all in for the supervisor race, the stakes are too high and we need someone that can bridge the divide between the Board of Supervisors and the city to help bring our communities together,” Chavez said.
“The pandemic showed us that effective leadership matters and collaborating is crucial to overcome challenges that the county and city are responsible for: public health, social services, and the foster care system for children. Residents are tired of bickering, sensationalist rhetoric, and divisive politics. I feel good about our race and I’m the only candidate that has $130,000 cash on hand to deliver our message. We will be rolling out our labor, business, community, and faith-based leaders endorsement soon.”
Quintero could not be reached Tuesday morning. The Board of Supervisors is meeting today.
This will be the second consecutive election cycle in which Fresno City Council colleagues vie for the same seat. In June 2022, Esmeralda Soria bested Mike Karbassi in a primary for a state Assembly seat and won the run-off for a seat in Sacramento.
If either Chavez or Arias emerge as the 2024 winner, it would trigger a special election to fill the remainder of their respective council terms.
Chavez is engaged in a lawsuit with Fresno County over how much money he can transfer to his campaign for supervisor. The county set a limit of $30,000. Garry Bredefeld, a Fresno city councilman running for the District 2 supervisor seat, joined Chavez in the lawsuit.
Arias recently transferred nearly $21,000 from his city council campaign account to his county account. Quintero reported nearly $75,000 cash on hand as of Dec. 31.
Dictos for District 2 Supervisor?
Fresno County Assessor Paul Dictos says he is considering joining the fray for the Fresno County District 2 supervisor seat.
“My intention is to explore the possibilities of me winning the race. My intentions are to see how many friends will come forth, how much support I have, how much money I can raise. And based on my advisers and the poll that I’m going to run, I will decide,” Dictos told Politics 101.
Incumbent Steve Brandau and Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld — both Republicans — are already in the race. Dictos is registered with no party preference.
Dictos says he wants to make sure the assessor’s office “gets the attention and support it deserves.”
Dictos is the four-term elected county assessor. He has a sign in his office that says “We Don’t Make the Sausage Here!!!.”
“I want to change the recipe of the sausage that is made on the third floor,” Dictos said, referring to where the supervisors’ offices are in the Hall of Records.
While Bredefeld and fellow Fresno city councilman/supervisor candidate Luis Chavez (running in District 3) are battling the county in court over fundraising limits, that won’t matter to Dictos.
He says he plans to use his own money in a separate campaign account from his assessor’s campaign coffers — which has more than $23,000 in cash remaining. But, he said that he would limit any contribution to $500. The legal limit per individual is $30,000.
Dictos would be up for a fifth assessor term in 2026.