Politics & Government

Calhoun to run for Anderson's Fresno Co. supervisor's seat

Fresno City Council Member Brian Calhoun announced Thursday that he's running for the seat held by Fresno County Supervisor Susan Anderson.

Calhoun made the announcement at the corner of Shaw and Palm avenues, where he sometimes holds his weekly "Coffee Stops" for constituents wanting to talk politics and have a cup of joe.

Residents of the second supervisorial district, which includes parts of north Fresno, Clovis and unincorporated areas, can expect to see more of Calhoun.

In addition to his coffee stops, Calhoun said he will visit every residence in the district.

He said he announced his candidacy a year before the June 2008 primary election because that's how long he needs to cover the district.

Calhoun said he wants to highlight his accessibility, a quality he said Anderson doesn't have.

But Anderson disputed his characterization, saying she has been actively engaged in the district.

She's serving her second four-year term and said she plans to run a "very aggressive" campaign for re-election.

"I have a record. He has a record -- he even has a criminal record," Anderson said.

Calhoun was arrested for drunken driving just hours after winning re-election to the City Council in 2004.

His car was found stuck on a dirt berm on North Polk Avenue.

A test later showed he had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit for drivers.

Calhoun pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine days of community service, three years of probation and a $1,500 fine.

Anderson said the conviction is fair game in the supervisor race, given that Calhoun was driving drunk the last time he was elected.

Calhoun said he regrets the incident and hasn't had a drink since the night of the arrest. "I made a mistake and I apologize for it," he said.

Calhoun, who teaches at Fresno City College, has to step down from his City Council seat at the end of next year because members are limited to two consecutive four-year terms.

Developer Bob Diel has also expressed interest in the county supervisor race.

Calhoun said he wants to put further restrictions on all supervisors, including term limits.

He also said supervisors make too much money for what is essentially a part-time job.

Supervisors are paid $103,000 a year, except Chairman Bob Waterston, who receives $116,000.

Anderson said she works far more than a part-time job as supervisor, clocking in an average of 60 hours a week.

A former deputy district attorney and county clerk, Anderson currently holds no other job but her supervisor position.