Local Election

Chávez doesn’t waste time announcing his bid for Fresno mayor

Fresno council members argue for gas tax equity

Fresno council members of the south and west areas of Fresno hold a press conference to announce their opposition to the Mayor Lee Brand's proposal to split gas tax initiative money equally among the city's districts.
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Fresno council members of the south and west areas of Fresno hold a press conference to announce their opposition to the Mayor Lee Brand's proposal to split gas tax initiative money equally among the city's districts.

Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chávez said he intends to run for mayor in 2020.

Chávez announced his intention to The Bee on Monday moments after Mayor Lee Brand said in an appearance on KMJ that he didn’t intend to seek reelection.

Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz announced last month that he plans to run for mayor, and retiring Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Monday he is seriously considering joining the race.

In a statement, Chávez said: “The city is at a crossroads, and we need leadership that can bring all parts of our city together. My almost 10 years serving residents across the city make me the most qualified candidate for mayor.”

Chávez, 40, took his seat on the City Council in 2016 during a special election. He won reelection last year.

Chávez, 40, worked as former Councilmember Sal Quintero’s chief of staff for six years before replacing his boss on the council. He beat challenger Paula Yang in the last election.

Chávez previously served one term on the Fresno Unified School District board. And before that, he made unsuccessful bids for a Fresno City Council seat (in 2010, finishing seventh out of eight candidates in the primary) and for the 14th state Senate District (in 2014 as the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Andy Vidak).

In his statement, Chávez noted that the city has never had a mayor from the south half of Fresno.

“Serving residents across Fresno (south and north) as a school board member and city councilman give me the skills, abilities and relationships to outline a vision for Fresno for the next 10 years,” Chavez said. “I have a track record of bringing folks from both sides of the aisle together and getting results for the residents of our city. The election of a mayor from south Fresno would be historic and a turning page in our city’s history that we will no longer be a ‘Tale of Two Cities!’ ”

Chavez has not officially filed paperwork to run for mayor in the March primary.

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