Connect with us


Whelan Supports Brand Agenda in District 7 Run



Share with friends

Flanked by Fresno’s mayor and the man he hopes to replace, attorney Brian Whelan announced his run for city council Thursday. Making his remarks on his front lawn, just a block south of Christmas Tree Lane, Whelan said he wants to create more Neighborhood Watch programs to combat crime.
“I’m running to lift up the neighborhoods and neighbors and our families here in District 7,” Whelan said. “Crime has been something common to everyone in our district. It is something a lot of us have experienced here.”
Whelan also said that he supports Mayor Lee Brand’s commitment to putting 1,000 police officers on the streets.

High-Level Support

Speaking in support of Whelan, Mayor Lee Brand and Councilman Clint Olivier offered their full-throated support.
“I’m proud to be here to lend my support and enthusiastic endorsement,” Brand said to cheers. “He’s the perfect kind of candidate I need as an ally on the council to move my agenda forward to make Fresno a much better city.”
At Whelan’s well-crafted launch event, dozens of supporters stood behind the candidate. The supporters appeared to represent a broad spectrum of demographics. Fresno County Republican chairman Fred Vanderhoof attended the event, as well as former state party official and one-time District 7 candidate Marcelino Valdez Jr.

District Liked Olivier, Not Brand or Trump

Whelan hopes to follow Olivier’s footsteps as a Republican winning an ethnically diverse district that seemingly would favor Democratic candidates. Like Olivier, Whelan speaks Spanish and, in fact, the candidate delivered part of his speech in Spanish on Thursday.
The Democratic father-son Pereas, Henry R. and Henry T., represented the district since its inception in 1997 to 2011.
Olivier won his seat in the 2010 primary with 62% of the vote and again in the 2014 primary with 54%, avoiding a runoff both times.
Brand did not fare so well in District 7 in the 2016 general election for mayor. The voters there cast their ballot for Brand’s opponent Henry R. Perea, 59%-41%. Brand lost all 24 precincts.
Similarly, Hillary Clinton received overwhelming support from the District 7 voters, 75%-25% over Donald Trump.

June Primary

This is Whelan’s second go-around running for public office in the last few years. He lost to Jim Costa for Congress in the 2012 general election.
Other known candidates are Fresno County Board of Education Trustee Nelson Esparza and healthcare advocate Veva Islas.
The primary is June 5. If a candidate wins a majority of votes, they win the race outright. If not, the top two meet in a November runoff.


David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email