Bliatout launches challenge to Nunes in 2020

Bobby Bliatout, the Fresno health care executive who challenged Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) in 2018, is back again for a second try in 2020.

Bliatout announced his candidacy on Tuesday. He came in third place in the 2018 congressional primary, trailing Nunes and Fresno prosecutor Andrew Janz.

“Like many people in the Central Valley and America, I have grown weary of the politics of chicanery practiced by Devin Nunes and Donald Trump,” Bliatout said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Bliatout is the son of Hmong refugees who emigrated to the United States in the mid-1970s, toward the end of the Vietnam War. He is the chief executive officer of the Greater Fresno Health Organization, which operates the Winery Medical Clinic and North Marks Medical Clinic in Fresno.

During the 2018 contest, Bliatout spent a considerable sum of his own money to compete with Janz, totaling $205,831.61 in personal spending.

Now, he faces a similarly-crowded field to take on Nunes mano a mano. Bliatout joins PriceWaterhouseCoopers consultant Dary Rezvani and financial planner Phil Arballo in the race.

Last week, Arballo announced his candidacy and received Janz’s endorsement to largely negative reaction from Janz’s 2018 backers.

Since then, Arballo has picked up considerable following on social media, rocketing to nearly 52,000 followers on Twitter. However, there are some allegations that Arballo’s following was inflated with fake Twitter accounts.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.