Clovis · Politics

Crowded field seeking election to Clovis City Council

With a changing of the guard in store for Clovis City Council, the field of replacements is crowded ahead of the November election. 

Last month, Mayor Jose Flores announced his retirement after 24 years on the council.

His decision to not seek reelection is coupled with the departure of fellow veteran lawmaker Bob Whalen, who was voted into the Fresno County Superior Court as a judge during the June primary.

When the two finish out their terms, Clovis will lose a combined 40 years of experience on the council. 

For the three open seats in November, one incumbent is running again: Drew Bessinger. 

In all, 10 candidates have filed to fill the three open seats. 

Along with Bessinger, at least two other candidates should be familiar to Clovis voters.

Former Clovis Police Chief Matt Basgall, a Republican, will appear on the ballot. 

Basgall worked for the police department from 1990-2019, including the last five as the chief. 

Another Republican who has entered the race is business owner Diance Pearce, who previously ran for council in 2021 but placed behind incumbents Vong Mouanoutoua and Lynne Ashbeck. 

Pearce also serves as the Fresno County and City Republican Women Federated. 

Four other Republicans are vying for the seats: realtor Kyle Chaney, Neighbors restaurant owner Mark Kazanjian, caretaker Guy Redner, and Fresno police officer Martin Salas.

Madera Parks Director Joe Hebert is the lone Democrat who has filed, while insurance agency owner Josh Phanco and energy company executive Des Haus are not associated with either political party.

Since the Clovis City Council does not have districts, the council is elected at-large, meaning voters from across Fresno County’s second-largest city will vote for three candidates on the ballot, with the top three of the ten winning seats.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.