Local Election

Andrew Janz challenges Fresno Mayor Lee Brand on notion of experience

Fresno County violent crimes prosecutor Andrew Janz held his first public event as a Fresno mayoral candidate Thursday evening in Radio Park.

Janz, who announced his intentions to challenge incumbent Lee Brand in the 2020 race in an interview this week with The Bee, challenged Brand’s criticism of his political experience.

In a statement earlier this week, Brand said, “I welcome the opportunity to have voters compare my well-earned experience and record of accomplishment, highlighted by creating over 5,000 good-paying jobs with benefits, to his complete lack of experience and a track record that consists of saying ‘I’m not Devin Nunes.’

“Will his new campaign be, ‘I’m not Lee Brand?’ To which I reply, ‘Yes, young man, you’re right. You’re not Lee Brand. You aren’t even close.’”

Janz had a congressional run against Congressman Devin Nunes in 2018, where he lost to Nunes by 5.5 points.

Thursday at Radio Park, Janz told a group of about 50 supporters, “Unlike Lee Brand, I don’t think you need to be a career politician to run for mayor. Lee Brand thinks I need to run for school board or dog catcher or all of these positions first before I can run to be the chief executive of this office. Well I think he’s wrong. I think we all have it in us to rise to the occasion and bring leadership, desperately needed leadership to the city of Fresno.”

Janz stressed his hopes to increase the amount of jobs and plans to cut the homeless rate in half by the end of his first term.

“I pledge to cut the homeless rate in half by the end of my first term,“Janz said. “Lee Brand’s plan to end homelessness is to put silly signs around town that say don’t give money to panhandlers. I don’t think that’s the right solution. We need an in-depth plan, a plan that will reduce homelessness, a plan that is grounded in mental health services and affordable housing and helping move people to employment.”

Janz promised he will not accept money from any developers or corporations.

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