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Smittcamp Endorses Zanoni in Sheriff’s Race

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Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp (left) is endorsing John Zanoni for sheriff. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Fresno County Sheriff candidate John Zanoni received a major endorsement from the Fresno County district attorney.

Photo of GV Wire's David Taub

David Taub

Politics 101

Lisa Smittcamp officially endorsed Zanoni on Wednesday.

“I have worked with John for many years, and have always been impressed by his dedication to public safety and his willingness to be collaborative. He cares about victims and this community, and I am looking forward to working with him in the future,” Smittcamp said.

Zanoni, an assistant sheriff, also has the endorsement of the woman he wants to succeed, Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Mark Salazar, a Fresno Police Department deputy chief, is the only other candidate. Voters have until June 7 to return ballots or vote in person.

Mims declined to run for a fifth term, having served as the county’s top law enforcer since 2007. She will remain in office until Jan. 2, 2023.


Also in Politics 101

  • A city council subpoena attempt fails.
  • New jobs for two Fresno politicos.

Karbassi’s Subpoena Request Fails

At Thursday’s Fresno City Council meeting, Mike Karbassi requested that the council subpoena Tower Theatre owner Laurence Abbate.

Karbassi wanted Abbate to answer questions about city’s purchase of the theater and surrounding properties for $6.5 million. The deal also includes an agreement by the city to defend against any lawsuits and pay any potential damages emerging from the transaction.

But, a majority of Karbassi’s colleagues didn’t think that the questioning was needed. Miguel Arias removed the item from the agenda, and a vote to return it failed, 4-2 (with only Karbassi and Gary Bredefeld in support and Luis Chavez absent).

While the city council has subpoena power, it is rarely — if ever —used. Politics 101 reached out to city attorneys who have served Fresno over the past 30 years. None recalled a subpoena being issued.

Felix Is New Chief of Staff for Soria

Gilbert Felix is now the chief of staff for Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria. He replaces longtime chief Terry Cox who left earlier this year to work for the Mayor Jerry Dyer’s administration.

This is Felix’s second time around for Soria, having worked as a staffer previously. He is also running for the State Center Community College District Board of Trustees.

Gilbert Felix is the new chief of staff for Esmeralda Soria. (Twitter/Gilbert Felix)

Matt Rogers Goes to Work for Fiona Ma

Matt Rogers, a former staffer to then-Sen. Kamala Harris in her Fresno office, is returning to public service.

Rogers will work in California Treasurer Fiona Ma’s communications office. He has been working on his family’s ranch in the interim.

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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