Where do the donors of Fresno’s local candidates live?

We’re taking a look at where candidates for City of Fresno offices are receiving their campaign funds and who some of their top donors are.

Last week, candidates for local office reported their campaign fundraising totals for the first half of 2019. We broke down where candidates stand in terms of fundraising, spending, cash-on-hand, and debt.

Now, we’re taking a look at where candidates are receiving their funds and who some of their top donors are.


Local candidates reported their campaign donations last week for Jan. 1 – June 30. Here’s the breakdown of the top donors for each candidate and where they’re from. 

Mayor of Fresno

Jerry Dyer

Dyer, the Fresno Police chief, hauled $255,220 in contributions during his first month on the campaign trail. In sum, Dyer collected 129 contributions from 127 donors.  

Every Dyer donor was from California and 76 percent of them were from the City of Fresno.

Nearly 98 percent of Dyer’s donors came from within the Central Valley, as only three donors were from outside of the San Joaquin Valley. 

The Fresno Police Officers Association (FPOA) PAC was Dyer’s top donor, contributing $9,000, in his first month on the campaign trail.

The next-highest contribution was $4,700 – or a max-out contribution – which was made by 29 donors.

Fresno’s campaign finance rules allow donors to make a maximum contribution of $4,700 per election.

The primary and general elections are considered two separate elections for purposes of this rule (hence, the contribution by FPOA).

Andrew Janz

Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz raised $49,753.20 in contributions from 204 donors. 

Eighty-nine percent of Janz’s campaign donors were from California. But only 42 donors, or just 21 percent of all donors, were from Fresno.

Only five more donors were from the greater San Joaquin Valley region, leaving the total number of Valley donors at 23 percent of all donors.

Janz had 68 percent of donors who live in California but not in Fresno. 

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma (D – San Francisco) was Janz’s top funder at the maximum $4,700 contribution.

Kathleen Murphy, a pediatrician and wife of Rep. TJ Cox (D – Fresno), donated $4,500 while Cordell B. Jelf Jr. of Fresno gave $3,000. The Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council and Ellen Gavin rounded out Janz’s top donors, donating $2,000 each. 

Elliott Balch

Balch, COO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, received $31958.10 in contributions from 108 donors. 

Eighty-seven percent of donors were from California, and 70 percent were from Fresno.

Balch’s top donors were all from Fresno.

Excluding a loan exceeding $10,000 from the candidate himself, Fresno resident Julie Linxwiler donated $2,150 while Daryl Balch and Balch Land Services each gave $2,100. Six other donors gave the next highest amount, $1,000 each. 

Fresno City Council, District 4

Nathan Alonzo

Alonzo, a small business advocate, received $96,950 in contributions from 103 donors.

He received 98 percent of his donations from people in California, with only two donors from out of state.

Ninety-one percent of Alonzo’s donors came from the San Joaquin Valley.

All of Alonzo’s top donors gave the maximum for an election – including the California Apartment Association PAC, Cedar North Investment Partners, Larry Fortune, and Paul Caprioglio for Fresno City Council 2012. 

Tyler Maxwell

Tyler Maxwell, a council assistant for City Councilman Nelson Esparza, received $28,525 in A-Contributions from 49 donors. 

One donor out of Seattle was Maxwell’s lone out-of-state donor, with 98 percent of all donors from the Golden State.

Out of the 48 donors from California, 10 percent of donors came from the Bay Area with 61 percent of donors from Fresno. 

UA Local 246 Plumbers & Pipefitters Cope Committee from Fresno was the top donor at $5,000. The Fresno City Employees Association PAC followed at $4,700. Four donors each donated $2,000 – including Operating Engineers Local No. 3 District 50 PAC, Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Central Labor Council, and Esparza for Fresno City Council. 

The next fundraising report – covering the second half of 2019 – won’t be available until the end of January next year.

The California Primary is March 3, 2020.

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