The Fresno Bee’s recommendations for the election

A drone photo shows unkempt fields at Fink-White Park in west Fresno. Measure P, the sales tax hike to benefit Fresno parks, will be decided by city voters at the polls Tuesday.
A drone photo shows unkempt fields at Fink-White Park in west Fresno. Measure P, the sales tax hike to benefit Fresno parks, will be decided by city voters at the polls Tuesday. Fresno Bee file

The Bee offers these recommendations to voters for select races on the November ballot:


Governor: Gavin Newsom, Democrat

Newsom has spent his time as lieutenant governor doing his homework on issues that are important to the Valley and the rest of California. Outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown frequently has been the adult in the room to keep spendthrift Democrats in check, and Newsom pledges to serve in a similar capacity. We were impressed with his understanding of the unique challenges Fresno faces and his earnest pledges to address agriculture industry issues like water storage. Valley voters have nothing to fear; he deserves your support.

U.S. Senate: Dianne Feinstein, Democrat

California’s senior senator is seeking a fifth term and has the commensurate gravitas and seniority to get things done. She understands Valley water issues and has worked across the aisle to steer more water to farmers. Voters should return her for a sixth and what she says will be a final term in office.

Congressional District 4: Jessica Morse*

Congressional District 16: Jim Costa, Democrat

The last midterm election in 2014 nearly ended Costa’s political career with a strong challenge from a virtually unknown candidate. This year, the dynamics are different; his 33-year-old challenger has a compelling back story and is energetic but has scant experience and doesn’t seem to be up to speed on the issues. Costa is a moderate who is well positioned to play an important role if Democrats take control of the House. He deserves your vote.

Congressional District 21: TJ Cox, Democrat

The 21st District is a political anomaly: it continually elects David Valadao, a Republican, when Democrats hold a significant voter registration advantage. Valadao is likable and relates well, but often votes against the interests of his district, which is one of the poorest in the nation. His vote to replace Obamacare with the GOP’s flawed proposal is one example. Cox is more focused on the needs of the district and can better deliver crucial services to the many who need them. Vote for Cox.

Congressional District 22: Andrew Janz, Democrat

Devin Nunes seemingly has one goal: defend President Donald Trump at all costs. He has lost touch with the district and practices damaging partisanship. Janz better understands the region’s needs, has reached out across the political divide and is accessible and accountable. Janz is the better choice.

State Senate District 8: Andreas Borgeas, Republican

The sprawling 11-county district would be well served by Borgeas, a lawyer who has served on the Fresno City Council and later on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. He pledges to find new water supplies for farmers and would serve as a thoughtful counterbalance to the strident coastal Democrats who control the state Senate. He deserves your vote.

State Senate District 12: Anna Caballero, Democrat

This is another far-flung district, stretching from Salinas to Merced, Madera, Ceres and a sliver of Modesto. Caballero, a six-year Assemblywoman, is a supporter of high-speed rail and is more moderate than her opponent, Rob Poythress, a Madera County supervisor. Her experience in the Legislature would make her more effective.

State Senate District 14: Andy Vidak, Republican

Vidak – a cherry and lemon grower who lives halfway between Hanford and Armona – is a Republican representing a Democratic district. While we don’t agree with his opposition to high-speed rail, he has helped to alleviate the double-digit unemployment that plagues his district and co-authored a bill that would give a 50 percent tax credit to students enrolled in career technical courses. His opponent, Melissa Hurtado, is earnest but lacked a command of the issues. Vote for Vidak.

Assembly District 23: Jim Patterson, Republican

Patterson relishes a good political fight – and he has one every day in an Assembly dominated by Democrats, which he calls “the ruling party.” He’s most effective when he calls out dysfunction; he was one of the few to request an investigation into the mismanaged DMV. Patterson has shown a willingness to engage in verbal combat when needed as well as pay attention to constituent needs. He’s earned another term.

Assembly 31: Joaquin Arambula, Democrat

Arambula, the first Latino physician elected to the Assembly, has some notable successes to his credit in his first term. He secured $18 million in state funding to improve a bridge on Highway 269, and $9.6 million for Fresno County officials to use in designing a child-care plan specific to local needs. He wants to get final approval of a bill that would bring the San Joaquin River Parkway under state parks management, which was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Voters should give him that chance.

Fresno City Council District 3: Miguel Arias

Arias brings a wealth of personal and professional experience to his candidacy. He works as the chief information officer for Fresno Unified and serves as a trustee for the State Center Community College district. He backs Measure P and has impressive passion and greater public service experience than his opponent. Vote for Arias.

Fresno City Council District 5: Luis Chavez

Chavez has been a strong advocate for his district. He authored the Support Small Business Act, helped secure $6 million for a new police substation and was a deciding vote to launch the city’s rental housing inspection program, a key point made in The Bee’s Living in Misery series. He deserves re-election.

Fresno City Council District 7: Nelson Esparza

This race is important as it could decide the balance of power on the City Council. Esparza, who teaches economics at Fresno City College, would be a contrast from his conservative opponent. The district has some of the city’s poorest residents who could use the help of city services and programs. Esparza also backs Measure P, which would have an enormous impact in this district. He’s earned your vote.

Fresno Unified School Board, Area 1: Keshia Thomas

Fresno Unified School Board, Area 3: Valerie Davis

Fresno Unified School Board, Area 4: Christopher De La Cerda

Fresno Unified School Board, Area 7: Nasreen Johnson


Proposition 1: Yes

Proposition 2: Yes

Proposition 3: Yes

Proposition 4: Yes*

Proposition 5: No*

Proposition 6: Yes

Proposition 7: No

Proposition 8: No

Proposition 9: Disqualified

Proposition 10: No

Proposition 11: Yes

Proposition 12: No*

Fresno Measure A: Yes

Fresno Measure P: Yes

Fresno’s parks are in dismal condition. Measure P would change that in a big way. The three-eighths percent sales tax increase is necessary to fix and build parks. City leaders have failed time and again to take care of Fresno’s parks. In that way, they have limited residents’ quality of life. Fresno is better than this, and can aspire to be great. This is a step. The Bee recommends a yes vote on Measure P to affirm that grand vision.

*Recommendations of The Sacramento Bee

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