Bernie Sanders opens campaign office in Fresno. Will it help him secure the Latino vote?

The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign has opened an office in Fresno.

The office at 1250 Fulton Street will participate in Thursday’s Art Hop, and the campaign is planning an opening celebration soon.

Sanders appears to be the first presidential contender to open a campaign office here. It’s his fifth in California.

“They have a core team that’s been on the ground now for quite some time. It’s not surprising that they would open an office here,” said Michael Evans, the chair of Fresno County Democratic Party. “There seems to be a commitment from the campaign to the Central Valley and other parts of California. We’re thrilled that candidates are paying attention to this area. We look forward to many presidential candidates having a presence here.”

Sanders’ focus on Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley is part of his effort to secure the Latino vote.

Sanders was scheduled to make a stop at Fresno City College in early October as part of his Latinx-focused California community college tour, but the event was canceled after he suffered a heart attack. He since has recovered.

The Vermont senator stopped in Fresno during his 2016 campaign, when he also made stops in Visalia and Modesto.

In the 2020 race so far, Democratic candidates Julián Castro and Pete Buttigieg also made Fresno stops.

On Thursday, Sanders released an immigration plan that would reverse President Donald Trump’s executive orders, create a pathway to citizenship, decriminalize immigration and demilitarize the border, strengthen immigrant labor rights and enact fair trade deals, among other things.

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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.