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Three Clovis Candidates, Tax Measure Come Out Ahead on Election Night

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Clovis voters are selecting three councilmembers. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Incumbent Drew Bessinger is the vote leader after first-night returns were tabulated for Clovis City Council.

He has been named on 49% of the ballots, as of 10:42 p.m. Tuesday. The top three vote-getters will win the election.

In second place is Republican activist Diane Pearce with 48% and former police chief Matt Basgall with 45%.

Insurance agent Joshua Phanco is in a distant fourth, with 18%.

The Fresno County election clerk’s office say 100% of the precincts have been counted. Mail-in ballots may be received for up to seven days and will be added to the count.

Voters for the first time in decades chose leaders in an even-year election. The last was in 1994. Since 1997, elections were held in March of odd-numbered years.

Candidates run in an at-large election, with no districts. Ten candidates appeared on the ballot, with voters able to chose up to three.

The new council terms begin Dec. 12.

Two Incumbents Leaving

Two incumbents declined to run for re-election. Jose Flores served on the City Council since 1999, winning six elections. He decided earlier this year that now was the time to leave.

Bob Whalen, a councilman since 2003, won election as a Fresno County Superior Court judge in June. He will take office in January.

Measure B

Clovis voters also voted on Measure B, which would increase the transit occupancy (i.e. hotel) tax by 2%, from 10% to 12%. The money would go to the general fund, but arguments in favor suggest it would be spent on public safety.

The first return saw the measure ahead with 70% of voters in favor. It only needs a simply majority, since the tax is for a general purpose.

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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