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Watch and Decide: GV Wire Hosts Fresno City Council D6 Candidates

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It’s election season, which means GV Wire continues its series of forums featuring candidates running for office.

Thursday, in conjunction with CMAC, GV Wire will speak with candidates for Fresno City Council District 6. All of the candidates have been invited. They are attorney Roger Bonakdar, banker and former planning commissioner Raj Sodhi-Layne, safety consultant Nickolas Richardson, and nonprofit professional Molly Fagundes-Johnston.

Bonakdar, Sodhi-Layne, and Fagundes-Johnston are confirmed; Richardson has a military reservist training obligation and will be unable to attend.

[Update, 1/24/2024: Richardson said he will attempt to attend via Zoom.]

The election is March 5. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the top two will advance to the Nov. 5 general election. The four-year term starts Jan. 7, 2025.

GV Wire Senior Reporter David Taub will host the forum, which starts at 6 p.m.

Fresno City Council District 6 map (City of Fresno).

How to Watch

The debate video can be seen live at gvwire.com. It will also be streamed to GV Wire’s Facebook page, and can be viewed on CMAC 1— Xfinity Ch. 93; AT&T U-Verse Ch. 99; or on the CMAC webpage.

Video from the forums will also be archived on GV Wire’s platforms.

About the District

District 6 encompasses northeast Fresno, roughly bounded by Blackstone Avenue to the west; Bullard Avenue to the south; Willow Avenue to the east; and Friant Avenue to the north.

Current District 6 Councilmember Garry Bredefeld is termed out, after serving two terms. He is running for Fresno County Supervisor.

Only Sodhi-Layne has had formal experience in government, serving as a planning commissioner from 2017 to 2021. She is currently a vice president with U.S. Bank.

Bonakdar made headlines in the last year, representing former Bitwise Industries employees in a lawsuit against their former and now-bankrupt employer.

Fagundes-Johnston is a former Fresno State student body president, with experience working in Washington, D.C., for former congressmember Richard Pombo. She also worked with Valley Children’s Healthcare Foundation.

Richardson, a Marine veteran and current reservist, is a safety consultant.

Sodhi-Layne, Fagundes-Johnston, and Richardson are registered Republicans; Bonakdar is registered without party preference.

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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