Political Notebook

Ronquillo backs out of Fresno County supervisor run

Former Fresno City Council Member Dan Ronquillo has decided against a 2016 Fresno County supervisor run.
Former Fresno City Council Member Dan Ronquillo has decided against a 2016 Fresno County supervisor run. Vida Staff Photo

After more than a dozen years away from the political scene, former Fresno City Council Member Dan Ronquillo in September said he would seek the District 3 seat on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

Over the past two months, Ronquillo had walked some precincts, where he says the feedback was positive.

Now, he’s out.

Ronquillo broke the news on his Facebook page last weekend, thanking those who encouraged him to run, but then wrote that “due to recent developments, I have decided to not pursue the race at this point.”

The development, Ronquillo says, is the decision by Henry R. Perea, who has held the seat since 2004, to seek reelection. Perea had been exploring a run for Fresno mayor, but it now appears that’s a no-go.

“I got into the race with the understanding that Supervisor Perea was actually going to vacate that seat to run for mayor – and I think he had every intention to – but I think that has changed,” Ronquillo says.

The race was shaping up as a battle between Ronquillo and Sal Quintero, who were Fresno City Council colleagues from 1995 to 2002 and adversaries in the 2000 mayoral election won by Alan Autry. Now, it looks like it could be a rematch of the 2004 race won by Perea over Quintero, who were also city council colleagues at one point. A third person in the race is Tony Gastelum, who made an unsuccessful Fresno City Council run in 1998.

Ronquillo says Perea was his ally on the city council who helped him in his efforts to revitalize downtown and restructure the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency.

“I have no intention to run against him,” Ronquillo says of Perea. “I would be more inclined to run in an open seat, but the incumbent has been doing a good job for the county. There is no reason to challenge him, so I backed out.”

Perea did not reply to a request for comment.

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