Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz filled initial candidacy paperwork with the City of Fresno on Friday signaling his entrance into the 2020 Mayor’s race to challenge incumbent Mayor Lee Brand.
The Fresno County Deputy DA ran against Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) in a heated 2018 battle that became the most-expensive race in the country when accounting for candidate spending, with more than $20.5 million spent collectively by the two sides.
Nunes ultimately won reelection by a 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent margin.
Following The Sun’s initial report, Janz issued a statement to McClatchy confirming the filing.
“This is standard practice for those who are seriously considering a run for local elected office,” Janz said. “I am not prepared to make a formal announcement at this time.”
The domain name JanzForMayor.com was registered on Sunday and displays a bare-bones website.
Brand delivered some heat at the Deputy District Attorney in a statement issued after the news of Janz’s filing broke from The Sun.
“I welcome the opportunity to have voters compare my well-earned experience and record of accomplishment, highlighted by creating over 5,000 good-paying jobs with benefits, to his complete lack of experience and a track record that consists of saying ‘I’m not Devin Nunes,'” the Mayor said in a statement. “Will his new campaign be ‘I’m not Lee Brand’? To which I reply, “Yes, young man, you’re right. You’re not Lee Brand. You aren’t even close.'”
Janz has publicly mulled a bid for Mayor since early March when he appeared on a podcast hosted by former interns from his Congressional campaign.
At the time, sources told The Sun that Janz was being heavily courted by elements of the Yes on Measure P coalition, including former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. During that timeframe, Janz had been spotted meeting with high-ranking officials with the Central Valley Community Foundation.
Subsequently, he met with Swearengin, who denied any involvement in a campaign “except for initiatives sponsored by [the] foundation, such as Measure P.”