Ashley Swearengin has extinguished any ember that she may run again for Fresno mayor.
“There is no chance! You will never call me mayor again,” Swearengin said, chuckling at GV Wire’s question Friday at a Measure P news conference.
“I’ve done my time, I served my community. I’m loving life at the Central Valley Community Foundation, and I look forward to doing a lot more good things.”
Political insiders and speculators have whispered of a potential third Swearengin term in 2020, partially because of her leadership role on Measure P. That position puts her at odds with the current top occupant of 2600 Fresno Street, Lee Brand.
“I really appreciate and support our mayor, Mayor Brand. He’s doing a great job,” said Swearengin, who endorsed Brand over Henry R. Perea in the 2016 mayoral election.
Swearengin ran unsuccessfully for state controller in 2014, falling to Betty Yee.
The city charter allows Swearengin to run again, despite serving two terms (2009-2017), as long as she sits out one full election cycle.
Garcia Hacked?Oscar Garcia faced another obstacle in his re-election campaign for Fresno County Auditor-Controller.
Someone allegedly hacked into his email, attempting to steal money from his campaign bank account.
According to the complaint Garcia filed Sept. 29 with Selma police (his hometown), someone used his personal email account on Sept. 28 to request a $13,000 transfer from his bank to his event planner. Garcia told police he has no event planner.
The bank emailed Garcia back with the required documents needing his signature to make the transaction.
He caught on later that day when the bank texted him, asking for a call. The bank froze the account, and issued Garcia a new account number before wiring any money.
Garcia told police “(he) believes someone ‘ghosted’ his account, meaning someone gained access to his email account using Garcia’s personal information and posed as him on the emails sent and received by (his banker).
Selma police say the case remains open.
Two New JudgesGov. Jerry Brown appointed two new members to the Fresno Superior Court last week. Both come from private practice.
Amy Guerra, an attorney with Richard Ciummo and Associates, and Ana de Alba, a shareholder at Lang, Richert, and Patch, will join the bench.
They will replace Dale Ikeda (retirement) and Mark Snauffer (elevated to the state 5th District Court of Appeal) respectively. Both women are Democrats.
“I am elated, honored, and humbled by the Governor’s appointment. Becoming a judge is an honor that I do not take lightly and one which I will work daily to continue to deserve,” de Alba said. “I have always viewed and respected the law as a profession, not a job. My continued desire to serve and enhance the profession is what made me want to apply to the bench.”
Guerra expressed similar excitement.
“I’m unbelievably honored to be selected. I’ve had the pleasure of working as a trial attorney in the Fresno Superior Court my entire career and I look forward to joining the many judges I’ve held in such high regard during that time,” Guerra said. “I’ve wanted to be judge since I was a young child. I saw it as the pinnacle of a legal career, and later as an attorney.”
Guerra resigned her position on Mayor Lee Brand’s Citizens’ Public Safety Advisory Board after her appointment.
Speaking of Judges
While there are no competitive races, judges in for the 5th District Court of Appeal are up for election.
If an appeal court judge is appointed mid-term, voters need to confirm them in a future general election. Terms are for 12 years.
Six of the ten justices on the Fresno-based court are up for election after appointment by the sitting governor: Charles Poochigian, Donald Franson Jr., Bruce Smith, Kathleen Meehan, Mark Snauffer, and Thomas DeSantos.
Also, Carol Corrigan and Leondra Kruger are up for election at the state Supreme Court level.
WWE to Fresno. What about Saudi Arabia?
Why is the WWE in Politics 101? For your consideration:
1) The WWE announced a return to Fresno at the Save Mart Center Dec. 18 for a live airing of Smackdown Live on the USA Network. The group’s developmental NXT promotion is in Visalia on Nov. 16.
2) The wrestling behemoth is taking a lot of heat for its planned Nov. 2 event in Saudi Arabia, in light of the kingdom’s alleged involvement over the disappearance and suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
3) WWE matriarch Linda McMahon is President Donald Trump’s SBA administrator. Glenn Jacobs, the wrestler known as Kane, is the recently elected mayor of Knox County, Tenn. Jacobs, as Kane, is scheduled for the main event of the “Crown Jewel” event in Saudi Arabia, airing on the WWE Network.
Kane teams with his brother The Undertaker versus the reunified Degeneration X: Triple H (who doubles as company executive vice president Paul Levesque) and Shawn Michaels. All four are bona fide WWE legends.
The wrestling company, in a short statement, said of the Saudi event: “We are currently monitoring the situation.”
(Update, 10/16/18: this story now includes a comment from Ana de Alba. Update 10/17/18: this story now includes a comment from Amy Guerra).