Garry Bredefeld, who a week ago decided against seeking his old District 6 Fresno City Council seat, has now reconsidered that decision and is back in the race.
Bredefeld, 56, said he pulled out of the race a month after entering it to focus on regaining his physical health after a cancer battle that lasted most of 2014 and led up to surgery a year ago. Now he says he was being a little too cautious in that approach.
“I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said in an interview. “I’m 100 percent cancer free.”
I’m 100 percent healthy. I’m 100 percent cancer free.
District 6 Fresno City Council candidate Garry Bredefeld
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Bredefeld said he got calls from cancer survivors and supporters after he decided against a run, asking him to reconsider. His doctors said there was no reason he couldn’t run.
And with that, Bredefeld is back in the race.
“When you are diagnosed with cancer, your life and perspective change dramatically,” he said. “You can at times be cautious.”
Now, Bredefeld is taking an opposite viewpoint.
“It’s about pursuing your beliefs, your passions,” he said. “Not looking over your shoulder. I should be living fully, not cautiously.”
Bredefeld represented the northeast Fresno district on the City Council from 1997 through 2000 and made an unsuccessful mayoral run instead of seeking reelection in 2000.
Jerry Duncan took over the seat that year and served two terms before reaching his term limit. Lee Brand won election in 2008 and is entering the final year of his second and final District 6 term. Brand is running for mayor.
After leaving office, Bredefeld has largely been out of politics. He said he turned his focus to raising his children and his job as a psychologist after leaving the council.
Bredefeld is one of three people seeking to replace Brand – former Fresno County GOP executive director and business owner Holly Carter and Jeremy Pearce, who may be known better as Jeremy “Elvis” Pearce, “the most booked Elvis in California,” are the other two.
District 6 may be the most competitive of the three council seats up for election this year, because it is the only one that lacks an incumbent.