Political Notebook

Janz will not run for vacant Fresno County supervisor seat

Andrew Janz, the Fresno Democrat who battled Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, to a close defeat in one of the nation’s highest-profile congressional races, announced Thursday that he will not run for a vacant seat on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

Janz, a Fresno County prosecutor, announced his decision in a written statement released exclusively to The Bee.

“Although I have been asked by many in the community if I intend to seek the vacant seat on the county board of supervisors, my wife and I have opted against another run for public office at this time,” Janz said.

“As a prosecutor and candidate for Congress, I have always committed myself to the enhancement of public safety and the pursuit of justice,” Janz said. “Right now, Fresno County is in desperate need of experienced prosecutors, which is why I have decided to continue my public service as a local prosecutor in the District Attorney’s violent crimes unit.”

Janz and Nunes are fresh off a contentious campaign in which the two combined to raise more than $20 million. The candidates spent millions flooding Valley airwaves and mailboxes.

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Fresno and Tulare counties certified their elections this week, with Nunes beating Janz by about five percentage points – by far the closest margin Nunes has ever faced in his Republican-heavy district.

As Nunes grew to prominence through his close ties to President Donald Trump and involvement in several high-profile investigations as the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, so, too, did Janz’s star rise as a consummate foil to the 16-year incumbent.

Rumors had swirled that Janz could parlay his newfound political notoriety into a new bid for local office. A convenient option appeared to open up on election night, when Supervisor Andreas Borgeas captured a seat in the state Senate.

The special election to fill Borgeas’ former supervisor position will be March 5. If needed, a runoff would happen June 4.

As of Wednesday, Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau appears to be the lone candidate for Borgeas’ seat. His council district overlaps with much of the vacant county district.

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