Political Notebook

Poochigian endorses Ott for her Fresno County supervisor post

Fresno County Supervisor Debbie Poochigian, who isn’t seeking a third term, is endorsing Clovis businessman Alex Ott to fill her seat on the five-member board.
Fresno County Supervisor Debbie Poochigian, who isn’t seeking a third term, is endorsing Clovis businessman Alex Ott to fill her seat on the five-member board. Fresno

Out of the starting gate in the District 5 Fresno County supervisor race, Nathan Magsig had two key advantages – good name identification and a hefty campaign bank account, both courtesy of his current elected position on the Clovis City Council.

Now, Clovis businessman Alex Ott, another hopeful for the seat, has a political boost of his own – the backing of the current supervisor.

Debbie Poochigian, who in January announced she wouldn’t seek a third term, says Ott is the best person to succeed her.

“He’s nice, he’s humble, he’s honest,” Poochigian said. “Alex Ott is the best person to keep this county going in the right direction.”

Poochigian said she worked hard in partnership with former Supervisors Phil Larson and Judy Case McNairy to get the county through the Great Recession and back on solid footing.

Ott and Magsig are two of three candidates seeking to replace Poochigian. The third is businesswoman Lauren Stephens.

If any of the three wins more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 7 primary, the race is over. If not, the top two finishers will face each other in the Nov. 8 general election.

Magisg announced he would seek the seat the same day Poochigian said she wasn’t seeking reelection. He also moved $130,000 from his Clovis council account, giving him an early fundraising advantage.

Ott was clearly happy to get Poochigian’s backing. He was with her when she told The Bee of her endorsement, which wasn’t a total surprise as Poochigian and Magsig have never been political allies.

“Poochigian is an effective, principled, outspoken conservative leader who understands the need to push back on Sacramento politicians who are making our communities less safe,” Ott says in a statement that officially announced Poochigian’s backing.

The question now: Will Poochigian back her endorsement with cash?

As of Dec. 31, she had $703,493 in her county supervisor campaign account. There are no campaign contribution limits for county supervisor.

Poochigian wasn’t ready to talk about money, but hinted: “You can stay tuned for the rest.”

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