City Councilman Luis Chavez, who represents District 5 in southeast Fresno, is facing three challengers for his seat in the June primary.
Chavez was elected in 2016 during a special election, replacing Sal Quintero, who now sits on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.
Challenging Chavez are Paul "Paully" Condon, a small business owner; Jose Barraza, a community advocate and former Fresno County economic development director; and Paula Yang, a Hmong community activist and anchor for a Hmong television channel.
District 5 runs along South First Street on the west and South Temperance Avenue on the east. The southern border generally follows East Jensen Avenue and includes East Belmont Avenue in the furthest northeast corner. At the north end of the district is historic Hunnington Boulevard. The district is broken up by Calwa and Sunnyside Country Club, both county islands.
It encompasses poorer industrial areas near South Orange Avenue and the struggling commercial Ventura/Kings Canyon corridor. In those areas, the city fights illegal dumping, homeless encampments and old, bumpy roads riddled with potholes.
About a decade ago, southeast Fresno was poised to be the city's primary growth area before the economic downturn. Fancher Creek sat undeveloped for years, but work is beginning to install infrastructure that can support bustling mixed-use development.
East of Peach Avenue, the neighborhoods are newer and attract residents with higher-paying jobs. Residents stay engaged in the community through the Nextdoor app and participate in community meetings, where the primary complaint is about teens speeding and doing donuts on wider roads.
The district has nearly 30,000 registered voters, and half of them are registered Democrats. About 7,000 are registered as No Party Preference, and just over 6,000 are registered as Republican, according the Fresno County elections records from mid-April.
The primary election is June 5. To win, a candidate must receive at least 50 percent plus one votes. If no candidate receives more than half of the votes, the top two finishers will go to a run-off in November.
Here's a look at the candidates:
Barraza, 65, worked for Fresno County for more than 30 years. He's now a real estate broker and general contractor who owns and manages a real estate and construction company.
He serves as the CEO of the Southeast Fresno Regional Park and Soccer Joint Power Complex Authority and chairs the board for the Southeast Fresno Community Economic Development Association. He previously served on the southeast police advisory committee and as a foreman of a federal grand jury.
Barraza ran for the District 5 seat two years ago during the special election, where he received about 24 percent of the votes.
He said poverty continues to be the biggest challenge facing District 5. The key to bringing people out of poverty is providing them with job skills through a public-private partnership that would include apprenticeships and job-readiness programs.
Barraza is endorsed by Fresno Unified Trustee Valerie Davis, John Leal, a trustee on the State Center Community College District, and Henry R. Perea, a former councilman and county supervisor.
So far, Barraza's campaign has received $15,000 in contributions and has $2,000 cash on hand. He's spent $13,000 and owes $2,000.
Chavez, 38 , served on the Fresno Unified school board before he was elected to the council. Chavez was Quintero's chief of staff. He previously worked for former Fresno County Supervisor Susan Anderson and was a program director for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Central Valley Health Network.
He became the first in his family to go to college, and has a master's degree in public administration from Fresno State.
In 2014 Chavez challenged Hanford Republican Andy Vidak for his state Senate seat in District 14. Chavez came up short with 44.5 percent of the vote. In 2015, Chavez dropped out of the state Assembly District 31 race, choosing instead to support Dr. Joaquin Arambula.
In Fresno's District 5, Chavez said his priorities include economic development, creating jobs and investing in older neighborhoods. He's met with 23 new business owners and worked with the mayor's office to draft and adopt the Support Small Business Act to encourage job creation along Ventura/Kings Canyon .
Chavez is endorsed by the Fresno Democratic Party and Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings Counties, Central Labor Council, among others.
Chavez has received a total of $66,799 since Jan. 1 and has $68,362 cash on hand. He's spent $30,046 and owes $1,372. He has no loans.
Condon, 42, is a small business owner.
He did not respond to The Bee's questions on election matters.
In March, Condon posted on Facebook an expletive-laced letter to Chavez, calling him a "bitch" and "punk." The post, at times nonsensical, appeared to accuse Chavez of defamation and rigging the election. Condon denied making the posts on Facebook, but then relayed similar details to a Bee reporter. Police Chief Jerry Dyer said at the time the posts did not appear to be criminal, but officers were looking into the matter.
Court records show Condon has a history of stalking women, and at least two woman have sought restraining orders against him.
Last month, Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson filed paperwork seeking a restraining order against Condon, saying he engaged in intimidating, threatening and harassing behavior toward school employees, court documents show.
Condon has not filed campaign finance documents indicating he's raised any money for his campaign.
Yang, 51, works as a news anchor for The Hmong Channel 16.5. The refugee from Laos has been an advocate for the Hmong community on issues such as assisting victims of domestic violence and human trafficking and honoring veterans of the Hmong Special Guerrilla Units. Yang also organized rallied in support of Gen. Vang Pao when he was arrested in 2007 on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the Lao government.
Yang has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Phoenix University and an associate's degree in legal studies from the former Central California College of Law.
She says the biggest challenge facing District 5 is the economic challenges for minority groups and veterans. She hopes to improve the problem through community engagement and job training for youth.
She's been endorsed by Cha Fong Lee, the owner of Asia Supermarket.
Yang has received $17,761 in contributions but spent more than $26,000. She owes $17,000. She received a $4,000 loan from Juan Carmona Jr., the manager of a Sprint store.