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Clovis Council Candidates Forum
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 7 years ago on
February 6, 2017

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Four of the five hopefuls for the Clovis city council met at a forum Monday morning. The city hosted the event at the Senior Center. While not a debate format, the candidates answered questions one at a time addressing subjects as how to improve the economy, how to handle an unpopular development project to how to prevent crime.

Clovis residents will vote for three council seats. Unlike Fresno and other cities, all of Clovis’  council seats are voted at large. That means all voters in the city can can choose the candidate. In Fresno, there are seven distinct districts. Only voters in that particular district are allowed to vote.

The Clovis city council has been one of the most stable legislative bodies around. Thus, it is rare this March 7 election that two of the three seats available do not have an incumbent. However, Of the three seats, two are for the full four-year term and one is to fulfill the remaining two years of Harry Armstrong’s term. The longtime councilman retired at the end of last year. The other seat was vacated by Nathan Magsig, who won election to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

Only two candidates are running for the two four-year positions. Lynne Ashbeck, a council woman since 2001, is poised to be re-elected. Vong Mouanoutoua is a city planning commissioner and longtime resident.

The only actual competitive election is for the two year seat. Paul Soares, who is the CEO of Camarena Health, appeared at the forum with Drew Bessinger, a retired Clovis police captain, who has served as an interim chief for other Valley cities. Aaronjack Perry is the third person to run for that seat. He was invited to the event but declined because of a time conflict.

The candidates kept a positive town, and frankly all had similar visions for Clovis. Mouanoutoua spoke about his experience as a Hmong immigrant and how even he is included in the “Clovis Way of Life.”

Watch the videos, broken down by each round of questioning.

Opening statements:

What does the city of Clovis do well? What can be better?

What are top economic priorities?

What is your message for senior citizens?

How do you decide how to vote if there was opposition to a development project?

What are your inspirations?

What are your budget priorities?

How do you envision the relationship between council and the administration?

What are the responsibility of residents to prevent crime?

Closing statements

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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