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Local School Board Incumbents Get Early Start on Re-election Bids. Who Are They?

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Some Fresno area School Board incumbents are off to an early start on their election campaigns. The filing period begins in July. (GV Wire)
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The first day for filing papers to run for School Boards in Fresno County is seven months away, but some incumbents have wasted no time making their intentions clear.

As of Tuesday morning, three incumbents from Fresno Unified, two from the Fresno County Board of Education, and two from the State Center Community College District board had filed candidate intention statements or opened campaign committees.

They are Elizabeth Jonasson Rosas, District 2, Andy Levine, District 5, and Claudia Cazares of District 6 in Fresno Unified; board president James Martinez of Area 3 and Dr. Allen Clyde of Area 5 on the Fresno County Board of Education; and Nasreen Johnson of Area 2 and Danielle Parra of Area 3 in State Center Community College District.

There could be some stealth candidates out there —incumbents or challengers who haven’t filed their candidate intention statement or started holding fundraisers but are planning to run for office.

The first day to file papers to run for the boards is July 15, and the last day is Aug. 9, Fresno County Clerk James Kus said.

If there is no incumbent in a race, challengers have five more calendar days to file their papers to run for office.

Jonasson Rosas, Levine, and Cazares are the only Fresno Unified trustees whose seats are up for election. Levine is running again after winning a short-term election to fill the seat of the late Carol Mills, the longtime Fresno High area trustee.

He’s Not Running

Although former Fresno City Councilman Blong Xiong opened a candidate committee two years ago, he told GV Wire this week that he’s not planning to challenge Levine for the Fresno High area seat next year because he’s too busy as President Joe Biden’s state executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in California.

Four trustee seats in Clovis Unified are up for election: board president Hugh Awtrey in Area 4, David DeFrank in Area 2, Dr. Steven Fogg in Area 5, and Yolanda Moore in Area 7. The 2024 election will mark the first time that Clovis Unified voters will vote for only the trustee who represents their area and not all the trustees on the ballot in an at-large election.

In Central Unified, the seats of Trustees Phillip Cervantes in Area 3, Richard Solis in Area 5, and Jeremy Mehling in Area 6 are up for election.

Three Fresno County Board of Education seats will be up this time around. In addition to Martinez and Clyde, the seat held by Trustee Bryan Burton of Area 2 will be on the slate.

Four State Center trustee seats will be up for election. In addition to Johnson and Parra, the seats held by Trustees Deborah Ikeda of Area 6 and Richard Caglia of Area 7 will be up for election.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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