Political Notebook

Candidates begin filing papers for Fresno school, college trustee seats

No curve ball candidates have hopped into the Fresno Unified and State Center Community College trustee races yet, though there's still a few weeks before the filing period ends.

In the local school board race, Trustee Cal Johnson and newcomer Debbie Darden, a businesswoman, have both signed up to compete for the southwest Fresno seat. Johnson, who serves as the board's clerk, formally announced his candidacy this week. Darden, the chairwoman of the Golden Westside Planning Committee, announced her intentions in February.

Trustee Christopher De La Cerda so far is the lone candidate in his race, which marks the first time he'll campaign for the seat he was appointed to in 2012. No one has filed papers for the Sunnyside High region seat, though incumbent Valerie Davis, the board president, has said she plans to run again.

First-timer Brooke Ashjian has filed to run in the Bullard High area race in hopes of replacing Trustee Michelle Asadoorian, who isn't seeking re-election.

Three State Center seats are up for grabs this year, and so far only incumbents have filed papers. Trustee Dorothy "Dottie" Smith and Vice President Ron Nishinaka have signed up. No one has filed for the seat currently held by Trustee Isabel Barreras.