The Sun Voter Guide

Clovis’ historically large ballot dominates Fresno Co. municipal battles

Clovis

Clovis features the most packed ballot for its at-large city council elections likely in the city’s history.

Fresno County’s second city notoriously ran odd-year elections for its City Council, but a new state law shifted balloting to coincide with even-year general elections. 

Three seats are open, and only one incumbent – Drew Bessinger – is running for reelection. 

Clovis Mayor Jose Flores announced his retirement earlier this year after 24 years on the council. 

Bob Whalen, who has served on the council for 20 years, was voted as a Fresno County Superior Court judge in the June primary. 

Even if Bessinger is reelected or not, the November election will mark one of the biggest shakeups in Clovis history. 

The ballot includes the following candidates beyond Bessinger 

  • Guy Redner
  • Kyle Chaney, realtor
  • Matt Basgall, former Clovis Police Chief and school security director
  • Diane Pearce, small business woman
  • Joshua Phanco, small business owner
  • Martin Salas, police officer
  • Michael Stewart
  • Carlos Mendoza
  • Des Haus, business woman
  • Joseph Hebert, parks director
  • Mark Kazanjian, business owner
  • Eulalio Gomez

The top three vote getters from the field of 13 will win election to Clovis City Council. 

Coalinga

Coalinga City Councilman Adam Adkisson is running for reelection in District 1 against city treasurer Dawn Kahikina. 

It’s a rematch from the 2018 election, which Adkission won by about 14 points. 

District 3 also features a rematch from 2018. Councilman Ray Singleton beat business owner Nathan Vosburg by eight points in the last election and will face off again in November. 

The District 5 race will be much simpler as mechanical Technician Lonnie Hedgecock is running unopposed. 

Firebaugh

Firebaugh City Council has two openings and only one incumbent running for reelection. 

Councilman Felipe Perez is running once again. 

He will face three other candidates: administrative assistant Silvia Renteria, Linda Espinoza and Ryan Gonzalez. 

The top two vote getters will be elected. 

Fowler

Fowler City Council is looking to fill two seats in its open district election in a few weeks. 

Councilman Mark Rodriquez is the lone incumbent running as the other seat was vacated. 

Rodriquez will face five challengers: gas station manager Tomas Carrasco, district cemetery manager David Muro, retired farmer Leonard Hammer, martial arts instructor Patric Jones and retired law enforcement officer Amarjeet Gill. 

The top two vote getters will take office after the election. 

Huron

Huron Mayor Rey Leon is running for reelection against challenger Hilda Plasencia, a retired school secretary. 

On the city council, eight candidates are vying for three openings. 

Incumbents Roberto Pimentel and Mike Morales are seeking reelection. 

They are going up against the following candidates: 

  • Arely Arellano, student
  • Raymond Ramirez, educator
  • Fred Cortez, property manager
  • Kristie Mora
  • David Mercado, transportation coordinator
  • Joe Zavala

Kerman

Four candidates are vying to replace Gary Yep as the next mayor of Kerman. 

Those candidates are business owner Juan Villareal, farm manager Pablo Vasquez Jr., executive director Maria Pacheco and Councilman Kevin Nehring. 

Over on the council front, Nehring and Yep could switch jobs. With Nehring running for mayor, Yep is running for his District 1 seat and will not face any challenger on the ballot. 

District 3 Councilman Ismael Herrera is also running unopposed in November. 

Kingsburg

Controversial Kingsburg City Councilwoman Jewel Hurtado has decided forego a reelection bid. 

The progressive councilwoman representing District 1 saw her tenure revolve around a failed attempt to proclaim June as Pride Month in Kingsburg, a failed recall effort against her and a DUI charge levied against her last year. 

Running to replace her are truck driver Lee Darling, farmer and business owner David Silva and businessman Nathan Williams. 

In District 4, Councilwoman Michelle Roman is seeking reelection against Staci Smith, a financial analyst and CPA. 

District 5 will see Councilman Vince Palomar run unopposed. 

Mendota

The November election will decide three seats on the Mendota City Council. 

Incumbents Rolando Castro, Jesse Mendoza and Joseph Riofrio are all running for reelection. 

They have five challengers looking to take their seats: retired city superintendent Teofilo Bautista, business manager Victor Martinez, social worker Libertad Lopez, food production manager Jonathan Leiva and school bus driver Juan Ledesma. 

With no districts in Mendota, the top three vote getters will either retain or take office following the election. 

Orange Cove

The battle to be the next mayor of Orange Cove is between current mayor Victor Lopez and retired teacher Diana Guerra. 

Two seats are also up on the Orange Cove City Council. 

Those seats are currently occupied by Roy Rodriguez and Esperanza Rodriguez. 

Both of them are running for reelection and are faced with three challengers: Phillip Cisneros, retired sales manager Manuel Ferreira and early childhood manager Gilbert Garcia. 

The top three vote getters will win a seat on the council. 

Parlier

Parlier’s mayoral race is a packed one. 

Mayor Alma Beltran is running for another term but faces four challengers, two of which currently serve on the city council. 

The mayoral challengers are Councilwoman Sabrina Rodriguez, Councilwoman Kathy Solorio, Antonio Cruz Jr. and fleet manager Ismael Spindola. 

District 2 Councilman Trinidad Pimentel faces retired childhood educator Juanita Torres Molina in his reelection bid. 

District 4 Councilwoman Diane Maldonado also faces a challenger in Diego Garza. 

Reedley

Reedley’s two city council races are straight forward. 

District 2 Councilwoman Mary Fast is running unopposed. 

In District 4, Councilman Ray Soleno’s term is up, and business owner Scott Friesen is the only candidate running for the seat. 

Sanger

Sanger Mayor Eli Ontiveros is facing retired master sergeant Frank Gonzales in November. 

In District 2, faculty coordinator Eve Castellanos, patient transporter Victor Moreno and administrative assistant Dolores Melendez are the three candidates running to replace Councilman Humberto Garza. 

District 4 Councilman Michael Montelongo is being challenged by businessman Screven Jones. 

San Joaquin

San Joaquin City Council has two openings but will not have any changes after the November election. 

Incumbents Adam Flores and Martha Mejia are both running unopposed. 

Selma

Selma Mayor Scott Robertson is up against retired HR technician Theresa Salas and pastor and registered nurse Louis Quintana in his reelection bid. 

District 2 Councilman John Trujillo is being challenged by communications specialist Jose Moreno. 

In District 3, Councilwoman Sarah Guerra will face electronic technician Louis Franco in November. 

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.