Garry Bredefeld, a Fresno psychologist who has largely been out of the public eye for more than a dozen years, said Tuesday that he’s going to run for his old Fresno City Council seat in 2016.
“I still have a passion to do things for this city,” Bredefeld said. “I still feel I can make many positive contributions. There’s a lot left to be done.”
Bredefeld, 54, served a single council term after being elected in 1996. In 2000, he ran for mayor instead of a second term representing northeast Fresno. He lost in the primary, which saw Alan Autry and Dan Whitehurst move on to the general election, which Autry won.
After that loss, Bredefeld said he wanted to seek office again in the future.
Even before Fresno County Supervisor Susan Anderson said in early 2011 that she was retiring, Bredefeld said publicly that he was considering a run if she stepped down.
Anderson did retire, but Bredefeld didn’t run, and two years ago Andreas Borgeas went on to beat businessman Larry Fortune in the battle to replace Anderson.
For the most part, however, Bredefeld has been quiet — politically speaking.
He said that was intentional. He focused on raising his three children and on his psychology practice. But all the children are now gone. His daughter works for DreamWorks and his two sons are in law school.
It is time to run again, he said.
Since Bredefeld left the District 6 council seat, Jerry Duncan served two terms and current Council Member Lee Brand is in the middle of his second term. Brand will be termed out in 2016. He’ll run for mayor, and the District 6 seat will be “open.” As such, Bredefeld expects several suitors for the post.
For those who don’t remember Bredefeld’s council time, he was an advocate of measured growth and having developers adequately pay for the impacts of their new housing tracts. He supported the downtown baseball stadium and pushed for the northeast Fresno police substation.
Bredefeld said he’s decided to move forward now because the election for the District 6 seat is just two years and three months away — in June 2016.
“You always want to get started early,” Bredefeld said.