Former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin has ruled out any run to be California’s next governor, telling the Los Angeles Times she is happy leading the Central Valley Community Foundation as its president/CEO.
During a break Thursday at an economic summit in San Diego, Swearengin said she also would not run for the U.S. Senate. “There was never any real consideration from me,” she said after moderating a discussion with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom at the California Economic Summit. “The things I care about, the work I am doing in the Central Valley, is probably best pursued in the work I am doing right now.”
In 2014 Swearengin ran to be California’s controller. At the time, her campaign was considered one of the best chances for a Republican to win a statewide seat for the first time since 2006. Swearengin got good marks for her record of restoring Fresno’s finances from near bankruptcy, her moderate politics and her bipartisan appeal. But she lost by nine percentage points to Democrat Betty Yee.
She did score a personal victory of sorts two weeks ago: Fulton Street reopened in downtown Fresno for the first time in decades. Reopening the street to traffic was one of Swearengin’s key goals as mayor.