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Perea Political Dynasty Continues, Zanoni Is Fresno County’s New Sheriff



Annalisa Perea (right) watches election results with her father, Henry R. Perea. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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Fresno County will have a new sheriff, and a city council candidate has won her seat outright.

And, it appears Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes has won re-election avoiding a runoff.

With all precincts reporting in the county, assistant sheriff John Zanoni garnered 57% of the vote, defeating Fresno deputy police chief Mark Salazar.

“It’s been a great evening and I am encouraged by the initial results. We are cautiously optimistic and awaiting precincts to report. If the margin holds after the precincts report we feel confident in winning the election,” Zanoni texted GV Wire.

Zanoni received the endorsement of current sheriff Margaret Mims — who is retiring after her term.

All results are as of 10:28 p.m. Tuesday. County Clerk James Kus says 35,200 ballots remain to be counted. Turnout was at 15%.

John Zanoni, seen in February when he announced his run, will succeed Margaret Mims as sheriff. (GV Wire/Johnny Soto)

Fresno County Sheriff
Candidate  Votes %
John Zanoni          40,076 57.4%
Mark Salazar          29,734 42.6%
Write-in                  84
TOTAL          69,810

Perea Wins Four-Person Race for Council

Annalisa Perea had perhaps the biggest night in local politics. Capturing 58% of the vote in a four-person race, Perea appears to have won her Fresno City Council District 1 seat outright. That means she will avoid a November runoff, and be sworn on Jan. 3, 2023.

Perea defeated public relations professional Cary Catalano (25%), former city councilman and assemblyman Mike Briggs (12%), and former police officer Jeremy Preis (5%).

“We brought people together from all sides of the political aisle because, at the end of the day, we were focused on doing what was in the best interests of the people,” Perea said in a victory speech Tuesday night at Full Circle Brewery.

Perea will succeed Esmeralda Soria, who is terming out of the seat.

With the victory, Perea becomes the third in her family to serve on the city council, following her father Henry R. Perea (1997-2003) and brother Henry T. Perea (2003-2011).

Fresno City Council District 1
Candidate  Votes %
Annalisa Perea            2,789 57.5%
Cary Catalano            1,222 25.2%
Mike Briggs                589 12.1%
Jeremy Preis                245 5.1%
Write-in                    5
TOTAL            4,850

Fresno Council Incumbents Win

Three other Fresno City Council incumbents handily won their races.

District 3 councilman Miguel Arias will return to representing southwest Fresno and downtown, winning 61% of the vote over two other candidates.

Luis Chavez will serve his second full term and third overall, defeating Sanger Unified school trustee Brandon Vang, 55%-45%. Chavez represents southeast Fresno as part of District 5.

Nelson Esparza easily won District 7, which after redistricting stretches from central Fresno eastward. He defeated two virtual unknowns with 66% of the vote.

Turnout for the council races was low, ranging from 9% to 13%.

Councilman Miguel Arias delivers a victory speech for his successful re-election. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Mendes Heads Back to Hall of Records

Supervisor Buddy Mendes

Buddy Mendes appears headed to his third term on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, eking out enough votes to avoid a runoff.

Mendes won 52% of the vote, with former municipal administrator Jose Antonio Ramirez at 25% and Fowler City Councilman Danny Parra at 23%.

A November runoff would be necessary if Mendes drops below 50% plus one.

District 1 Supervisor Brian Pacheco won his third term. He did not have an opponent.

Fresno County Supervisor, District 4
Candidate  Votes %
Buddy Mendes            5,605 52.2%
Jose Antonio Ramirez            2,702 25.2%
Danny Parra            2,411 22.5%
Write-in                  13
TOTAL          10,731

Regional Roundup

  • Measure Z, to extend the Fresno County one-tenth of a cent sales tax for the Chaffee Zoo, easily won with 82%. It only needed two-thirds to pass.
  • Michelle Cantwell-Copher won a three-person race for Fresno County Superintendent of Schools with 64%. She will replace Jim Yovino, who is retiring at the end of his term. Yovino endorsed Cantwell-Copher.
  • Clovis City Councilman Bob Whalen officially won his election for Fresno County judge. He was the only candidate. That will create an open position now for his city council seat in November.
  • Sarah Hacker defeated incumbent Kings County District Attorney Keith Fagundes, winning 58% of the vote. Fagundes ran into accusations of ethics breaches during the campaign.

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