Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is expected to announce his entry into the 2020 mayoral race at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Manchester Center.

ABC30s Corin Hoggard, citing emails sent to pastors and business leaders, first reported Dyer’s expected event on Twitter.

If Dyer tosses his hat into the ring, he would become the third announced candidate in a field minus incumbent Mayor Lee Brand.

Brand said last week that he wasn’t seeking re-election despite having raised about $450,000 for the race. He explained that he didn’t want election politics to muddy his relationship with the Fresno City Council. Instead of winning a second term, Brand said, his goal is to finish strong.

Brand’s Exit Opens Door to More Candidates

To date, the announced field includes Fresno County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Janz and Fresno City Councilman Luis Chavez.

Political insiders say that one or two more serious candidates may enter the race before the filing deadline in November.

Among the possibilities: former county supervisor Henry R. Perea, city councilwoman Esmeralda Soria, and Elliott Balch of the Central Valley Community Foundation. Brand finished a distant second to Perea in the 2016 mayoral primary but eked out a narrow comeback victory in the general election.

Janz kicked off his mayoral bid with an event May 2 at Radio Park in central Fresno. A Democrat, he lost his challenge of Rep. Devin Nunes last November while attracting nationwide attention.

Chavez, who represents southeast neighborhoods on the council, declared he was running shortly after Brand exited the race May 20. Dyer, a Republican, said the same day that he was “strongly considering” a bid.

Chavez, a Democrat, is a former Fresno Unified School District trustee who had a tougher-than-expected time defeating Paula Yang to keep his council seat in 2018.

Poll Shows Voters Favor Dyer

Dyer has worked 40 years for the police department, the 18 last as chief. He is scheduled to retire in October. A national search for his successor is underway.

In a GV Wire poll of likely 2020 voters conducted in April, Dyer received 31% support, Janz 26%, Brand 18%, “some other Democrat” 15% and “some other Republican” 10% support.

 

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