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Candidate dropping out of the race for Fresno’s vacant City Council seat. What’s next?

The candidate pool to represent northwest Fresno on the City Council is now minus a person.

Felipe Arballo said on Friday he’s ending his candidacy both for the August 13 special election and the 2020 election for the seat.

“At this time, I’m going to end my candidacy to focus on new developments,” he said in a phone interview on Friday.

Arballo expects to share more about the “new developments” next week.

The 40-year-old financial adviser in the months leading up to the May filing deadline grappled with whether to run for the special election or focus on 2020. He decided to aim for the special election because he didn’t want to let his neighbors and community down, he said.

“I learned, especially in northwest Fresno, that there is a changing dynamic from where we were to where we are now,” he said. “People up here in northwest Fresno — they’re hungry for a change from the status quo. That was my reason for getting in — to be a different voice.”

The District 2 City Council seat was left vacant when former Councilmember Steve Brandau took his new post at the Fresno County Board of Supervisors after winning a special election in February.

Five candidates remain for the special election in August: Lawrence Garcia, Jared Gordon, George Herman, Mike Karbassi and Oscar Sandoval.

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Brianna Calix covers politics and investigations for The Bee, where she works to hold public officials accountable and shine a light on issues that deeply affect residents’ lives. She previously worked for The Bee’s sister paper, the Merced Sun-Star, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Fresno State.
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