Fresno’s GOP backs Bonakdar, Richardson for City Council seat

The decision by the Fresno County GOP to back all candidates is reminiscent of a similar move by Calif. Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis.

The Fresno County Republican Party is officially backing both candidates in the race for Fresno City Council District 6. 

Tuesday, the Republican Central Committee cast a pair of votes – first to endorse attorney Roger Bonakdar outright, followed by a second vote to tender a dual endorsement with teacher Nick Richardson – to succeed termed-out Councilman Garry Bredefeld. 


The big picture: Bonakdar and Richardson placed at the top two candidates in the March primary and have advanced to the general election in their hopes to represent northeast Fresno at City Hall. 

  • Bonakdar came in first place with 37.17 percent of the vote, ahead of Richardson with 26.72 percent. 

What they’re saying: Bonakdar said in a statement that it was truly heartwarming to be welcomed by the Fresno County Republican Party. 

  • “I am honored that my vision for our city was so inspiring to members of the Republican Party Central Committee that their first decision last night was to vote to endorse my candidacy for Fresno City Council in District 6,” Bonakdar said. “This vote of confidence and trust in my vision is kickstarting our march to victory in November and I’m excited to fight and deliver for the residents of northeast Fresno at City Hall when I am elected.”
  • Richardson posted his endorsement on Facebook, thanking the party for its support. 
  • “Grateful for the endorsement from the CA GOP! Conservatives in Fresno know who’s got their back. Thank you, Semper Fidelis, and Semper Fresno!” Richardson wrote. 

Other endorsements: Bonakdar adds this endorsement to those from Fresno police officers, fire fighters, Freno County Sheriff John Zanoni, retired sheriffs Margaret Mims and Steve Magarian, the Lincoln Club of Fresno County, the Fresno County Chamber of Commerce and the San Joaquin Valley Taxpayers Association, among others. 

  • Richardson, though, has the support of the other two candidates who ran in the primary: Molly Fagundes-Johnston and Raj Sodhi-Layne, who received 22.83 percent and 13.28 percent respectively. 
  • Richardson was also endorsed by former District 6 candidate Justin St. George and Fresno County Assessor-Recorder Paul Dictos. 

Similar to the Democrats: The unusual decision by the Fresno County Republican Party to not take a side in the District 6 race is all too similar to what happened with some high-profile Democrats in the primary. 

  • Last October Lieutenant Gov. Eleni Kounalakis simultaneously threw her support behind candidates for Congressional District 22 while not exactly taking a stand. 
  • Kounalakis endorsed both State Sen. Melissa Hurtado (D–Bakersfield) and Former Asm. Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield) in their efforts to oust Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford). 
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