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Luis Chavez Has a City Council Challenger in Vang



Sanger Unified Trustee Ge Brandon Vang (left) is challenging Luis Chavez for Fresno City Council. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Ge Brandon Vang, president of the Sanger Unified school board, is challenging Luis Chavez’s seat on the Fresno City Council. Vang will make an official announcement in about two weeks, his campaign manager tells Politics 101.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

Vang is in his second term on the Sanger Unified board, first elected in 2016.

Chavez is running for his second full term — he won a special election in 2016 for a vacant seat to complete the final two years of the seat vacated by Sal Quintero. If Chavez wins, he would have the rare distinction of serving 10 years consecutively on the council since term limits were instituted in the 1980s.

While the city charter limits councilmembers and the mayor to no more than “two successive terms,” the city attorney’s office has interpreted that to mean two full successive terms.

In the most recent campaign reporting, Chavez raised $160,650 last year and has $162,772 cash on hand.

Chavez has had success in his two elections for city councilman. In the 2016 special election, he garnered 58% of the vote in a three-man race. He won re-election two years later in District 5, defeating Paula Yang, 61%-38%.

Chavez and Vang are registered Democrats.

Also in Politics 101

  • A look at the Caballero-Hurtado fundraising.
  • A race for Kings County supervisor.
  • Farewell, Tommy Esqueda.
  • McClintock returns.

Where Caballero-Hurtado Stand in Money Race

Anna Caballero (left) and Melissa Hurtado.

Anna Caballero raised more money and has more cash on hand than her fellow Democratic incumbent Melissa Hurtado, campaign figures through Dec. 31, 2021 show.

Both Caballero, D-Merced, and Hurtado, D-Sanger, are running in the same Senate District 14. Caballero has $679,578 cash on hand versus Hurtado’s $514,033.

The 2021 campaign fundraising does not take into account Caballero and Hurtado running against each other. Both ledgers are chock full of special interest political action committee money. Industries supporting them included telecommunications, medicine, agriculture, and several more.

Perhaps the most interesting contribution: The San Francisco 49ers and owner Jed York giving $4,500 to Caballero.

District Candidate 2nd half 2021 2021 Total Cash on Hand Debt
14 Melissa Hurtado (D)* $198,955 $320,206 $514,033 $1,430
14 Anna Caballero (D)* $265,712 $449,012 $679,578 $0

Hurtado Honored for Special District Support

Hurtado was recently was named “Legislator of the Year” by the California Special Districts Association, the Hanford Sentinel reports.

Special districts are government agencies that usually have a specific focus, like irrigation or flood control. They have battled for shares of federal pandemic relief that have flowed to state and local governments.

Hurtado will honored at an event at the Fresno County Fire Protection District Mid-Valley Regional Fire training facility Friday at 10 a.m.

Martin Chavez Running for Kings County Supervisor

Martin Chavez, a member of the Stratford Public Utilities District, is challenging long-term incumbent Joe Neves for a seat on the Kings County Board of Supervisors.

Neves, 63, is running for his eighth term, first elected in 1994. Since 2002, he’s only been challenged once, in 2018 when he defeated Eddie Neal by 20 percentage points.

Chavez, 27, has been on the Stratford PUD board since 2017.

Both are Republicans. And, they live a few blocks away from each other in Stratford.

Goodbye, Tommy!

Tommy Esqueda

Tommy Esqueda is now officially ex-city manager of Fresno. Tuesday was his last day, and it seemed City Hall moved to Chukchansi Park to throw him a going-away party.

Several city staffers and elected officials bid Esqueda adieu at a lunch-hour party overlooking the baseball stadium. It was all hugs smiles from what Politics 101 saw.

Georgeanne White is now in charge of enacting Mayor Jerry Dyer’s policies and dealing with the city council.

Esqueda intends to move to South Carolina to spend time with family.

McClintock Update

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, returned to Washington this week and resumed voting. He had missed the first few weeks as he was still mourning the passing of his wife, Lori.

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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