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Villaraigosa Gets Backing From Conservative Fresno Police Chief

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Antonio Villaraigosa is banking on the Fresno police chief’s popularity to push his campaign beyond the June 5 primary.
On Tuesday (May 29), Chief Jerry Dyer endorsed the Democratic former mayor of Los Angeles for governor.

We need a governor who understands the importance of giving certain individuals second chances. But we also need a governor who understands the importance holding people accountable for their actions and insuring victims of crimes get the justice they are so deserving of. I believe Antonio Villaraigosa is that governor.” — Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer
Polls show Villaraigosa, a Democrat, running neck and neck with Republican John Cox to finish second. The top-two finishers, regardless of party, advance to the November general election. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat, is the front-runner, according to the polls.
Dyer said it’s the first endorsement for governor that he’s made.
“We need a governor who understands the importance of giving certain individuals second chances. But we also need a governor who understands the importance holding people accountable for their actions and insuring victims of crimes get the justice they are so deserving of,” Dyer said. “I believe Antonio Villaraigosa is that governor.”
Along with Dyer, Villaraigosa picked up the endorsements of local law enforcement unions such as the Fresno Sheriff’s Deputy Association and Fresno Police Officers Association.

Valley Is Vital to Villaraigosa’s Quest

By Villaraigosa’s count, this is his 57th visit to the Valley, an important part of his strategy to Sacramento.
“I think this the heartland of our state, the breadbasket of our state. I’ve enjoyed the time here learning. I think you’ll see me again and again and again once I’m governor,” Villaraigosa said.

Dyer’s Political Risk

Dyer acknowledged the ledge he’s stepping on, a conservative chief endorsing a Democrat.
“I also understand as a result of that endorsement, perhaps I lose some political capital I have gained in this community, and perhaps throughout the Valley for the last several years. But the truth is, the future well-being of the state of California is far more important than anyone’s political capital,” Dyer said.
Villaraigosa’s staff says there could be one more Valley visit before next Tuesday’s election.
Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno), former Fresno Mayor Alan Autry, and Fresno City Council President Esmeralda Soria also appeared at the news conference to support Villaraigosa.

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