Luis Chavez ends bid for Fresno mayor. These candidates are left

Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez is dropping out of the mayor’s race.

In a statement to The Bee Thursday morning, Chavez said after speaking with his family over the summer, he decided to focus on his duties as a councilmember serving southeast Fresno.

“I was entrusted to represent the great residents of southeast Fresno, and I intend to fulfill that promise I made to them,” he said.

Chavez said as of now, he doesn’t plan to endorse another candidate in the race, but he’s willing to meet with them to learn more about their vision for Fresno.

“The city faces many challenges in the areas of homelessness, increased crime, gang shootings and economic development,” Chavez said. “My passion is fighting for disadvantaged neighborhoods that have long been forgotten, and I will continue to advocate for the older parts of Fresno. My hope is that in the near future we do not continue to perpetuate the narrative of the ‘Tale of Two Cities.’”

Chavez jumped into the race in May, minutes after Mayor Lee Brand announced he won’t seek re-election.

Many others hope to becomes Fresno’s next mayor, including Central Valley Community Foundation COO Elliott Balch, Police Chief Jerry Dyer and Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz. Since the flurry of announcements in spring and early summer, two other candidates, Richard Renteria and Brian Jefferson, filed intentions to run. But, those two candidates didn’t file any fundraising disclosures for the first filing period, which closed Wednesday.

Chavez took his District 5 seat on the City Council in 2016 during a special election after serving on the Fresno Unified governing board. He won reelection in 2018.

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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.