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Who's Next to Take on Nunes? 3 Democrats Enter the Ring.
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 5 years ago on
June 7, 2019

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Three Democrats have lined up to take the next shot at Republican Congressman Devin Nunes in 2020.
It’s an interesting trio. One runs a Fresno auto repair shop. Another bounced in and out of a Fresno City Council race before deciding to throw in for California’s District 22 seat. The third was unable to surpass single digits in the District 22 primary in 2018.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub
David Taub
Politics 101
And one of the three has the endorsement of Andrew Janz, the Fresno County prosecutor who took on the Tulare congressman in 2018. Nunes won his eighth term with 52.7% of the vote to Janz’s 47.3% in a nationally scrutinized contest.
Janz, who now is running for Fresno mayor, went on Twitter to endorse Phil Arballo, who up until last week was a candidate for the Fresno council’s District 2 seat.


Another candidate, Dary Rezvani, owns Mid Valley Auto Repair and has no prior experience in running for public office. He spent part of his childhood in Fresno and attended Fresno State before working as a consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Jose. He returned recently to the Valley to run the auto shop founded by his late father.
The third Democratic opponent is Bobby Bliatout, who ran against Nunes in 2018 and finished third in the June primary with 4.9% of the vote. Bliatout, a health care industry administrator, raised $310,000 for that effort, with nearly two-thirds ($205,831) coming from him.
Arballo, a financial planner, played hokey pokey with a run for the District 2 council seat that came open when Steve Brandau was elected to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.
He initially said he would run in both the August special election for the seat and in next year’s regularly scheduled election. He subsequently withdrew, then said he was back in. Last week, he withdrew again. His name, however, will be on the August ballot because it was too late for the county clerk’s office to remove it.
Speaking of names, some are taking issue with Arballo using “Phil” on his campaign signs and Twitter account, where his bio describes him as “Father, Husband, Latino, Small Business Owner, Democrat. Candidate for Congress CA-22.” His personal Facebook page and professional LinkedIn page list his first name as “Felipe.”

Garcia No-Shows Chamber

Portrait of Lawrence Garcia
Lawrence Garcia
The Fresno Chamber of Commerce held endorsement interviews this week for the District 2 special election.
Four of the five active candidates appeared at the group interview. Lawrence Garcia did not.
The candidate says he double-booked himself and couldn’t make it to the interview. He hopes the Chamber gives him a second chance.
Per its policy, the Chamber would not say whether they would grant Garcia’s request. The group has yet to announce its endorsement for the Aug. 13 race.

Fresno Mayoral Race

A fifth entrant into the mayor’s race filed this week with a lot less fanfare than the other four.
Richard Renteria is taking a second run at the job. In 2016, he finished fifth in a five-person primary in 2016, winning 2.5% of the vote. At the time, he listed his occupation as businessman and insurance broker.

Arias Wants Police Audit Results

During day 2 of the Fresno budget hearings, councilmember Miguel Arias urged city leaders to release a pending audit of the police department.
Arias pushed controller Michael Lima to release the audit, which is believed to deal with officers double-dipping while teaching classes at local colleges.
Arias wants the audit results before any council votes on the police department’s budget requests. He set a deadline of June 13. If the city does not comply, Arias said the council could pass a motion forcing the audit’s release.
Assistant City Manager Jane Sumpter said an update on the audit’s release will happen before June 13. That answer appeared to satisfy Arias.

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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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