Though in campaign mode for months, Clovis City Council Member Bob Whalen made it official Wednesday: He'll seek the 29th Assembly District seat in the state Legislature.
Whalen, 45, is vying to replace Mike Villines, who reaches his term limit at the end of next year. The 29th Assembly District, which covers parts of Fresno and Madera counties, is a reliably Republican seat -- and Whalen is a Republican, too.
But he must first get past Madera County resident Don McKinney. Others are pushing former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson to seek the seat, and Patterson is doing nothing to quell that speculation.
Whalen, in the meantime, has been raising money and collecting endorsements. Among those supporting Whalen are Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno County Supervisor Judy Case, Clovis City Council Member Nathan Magsig and Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Larry Powell.