The fight for Fresno County’s most popular piece of political real estate – its second Supervisorial District – has been a hotbed of activity Saturday with two would-be contenders making their moves.
Saturday, Fresno City Councilman Garry Bredefeld and Asm. Jim Patterson (R–Fresno) shook up the landscape of what was likely to be a highly-competitive 2024 battle surrounding a seat held by fellow Republican, Steve Brandau.
Breaking down the timeline: Patterson drew first blood in the prize fight shortly after winning re-election in November, announcing his candidacy on KMJ.
- Patterson opened a fundraising committee for his would-be Supervisorial candidacy two weeks ago, building off his November KMJ campaign roll-out.
- Last week, Brandau reaffirmed his position that he would pursue re-election to his second full term in office.
- Saturday morning, Bredefeld – who had been alternatively weighing a bid for Patterson’s state Assembly seat – announced he was launching his candidacy for Supervisor.
- Six hours after Bredefeld’s announcement, Patterson announced that he was reversing course and would be retiring from public office at the conclusion of his final Assembly term in December 2024.
Behind Bredefeld’s launch: The Fresno City Councilman, who has spent the past six years unflinchingly combatting the panel’s leftward lurch, described his candidacy as building on his work to preserve Fresno County’s strengths.
- “I’ve been a fighter my whole life and I don’t and won’t ever back down to the radicals that try to silence my constituents and those that share our Conservative beliefs and values,” the veteran Councilman said in a statement.
- “The City and County of Fresno has been my home since 1982. We’ve raised our children here and I want Fresno to remain safe and economically strong. I believe that I still have much to offer our community and want to continue the fight on behalf of my constituents,” his statement continued.
- “We need a fighter who can lead, has proven integrity, and has the backbone and courage to speak the truth no matter the personal attacks that follow. I will continue to provide that leadership at the County just as I have done on the Fresno City Council and I’ll ensure that the voices and concerns of my constituents are heard and never silenced.”
Inside Patterson’s retirement: The shock announcement that Patterson would retire from public office, mere hours after Bredefeld’s launch, centered on a pivot to the private sector.
- “I believe my skills, talents, and relationships can do the most good for the most people here in the private sector. Therefore, I have decided I will not be running for public office in 2024,” Patterson said in a statement issued Saturday night.
- “Combined with 8 years as the Mayor of Fresno, including being Fresno’s first strong Mayor, and 30 years in broadcasting in the private sector, I look forward to using all that I have learned and achieved to improve our community.”
- “My staff and I are committed to finish my final term in the Assembly, providing timely and effective constituent service, and doing everything we can to put California back on the right track.”
What we’re watching: The next moves of Brandau. Outside of seeking re-election, Brandau is again eligible to run for two terms on the Fresno City Council or could pursue the California State Assembly in the 8th District (currently held by Patterson).