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Election Morning After: Runoffs for Fresno County Supervisor, Measure E Fails, Tangipa Nailbiter
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 2 months ago on
March 6, 2024

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Two Fresno County Supervisor seats are headed to a runoff.

Dyer easily wins mayoral re-election. Fresno City Council District 6 to runoff.

Measure E, the Fresno State sales tax, failing by 12 percentage points.

Assembly candidate Tangipa in the second run-off position by just 35 votes.


Two Fresno County supervisor seats will head to November runoffs. A heavily financed effort for a sales tax to benefit Fresno State failed again. And, a political newcomer is in a nail-biter to qualify for the November election.

Overnight, Fresno County updated its election numbers, with all precincts reporting. Now, the elections office will count late-arriving mail-in ballots, as well as provisional ballots. It is not yet known how many ballots the election office has to sort through.

Preliminary turnout in Fresno County is 16%, but that number will rise in the next week. The statewide turnout was 18.1% as of Wednesday morning.

Fresno County elections officials said that there are about 38,400 ballots left to count. The next results update is scheduled for Thursday.

See the key election results at this link.

Bredefeld, Brandau in District 2 Runoff

Garry Bredefeld won a plurality of votes, taking incumbent District 2 Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau to a Nov. 5 runoff. Bredefeld — a Fresno city councilmember termed out after this year — earned 40% to Brandau’s 27%, or a 2,999 vote margin.

The district covers much of north Fresno and parts of Clovis.

“We take nothing lightly. I haven’t won the race yet, and so we’re going to continue to work hard until November and, hopefully win this thing,” Bredefeld said at his party at The Standard.

Bredefeld said he knocked on 16,000 doors and averaged walking 30 miles a week, wearing out four pairs of shoes. He does not plan on changing his strategy.

“I’m a fighter, that I don’t back down, and (voters) want fighters who are going to support their values and be a voice for them. And I’ve clearly been there for seven years on the city council, and I’m going to bring that same fight and passion to the county,” Bredefeld said.

Brandau is ready for November.

“I feel good. We got outspent over 2-1 and Garry ran an ugly and misleading campaign. Looking forward to telling our story of accomplishments through November,” Brandau said.

County Assessor-Recorder Paul Dictos received 16%, businessman Bryce Herrera 9%, and county social worker Dion Bourdase 7%.

Garry Bredefeld, left, received 40% support and will face incumbent Steve Brandau, who garnered 27%, in the November runoff for the District 2 Fresno County Supervisor seat. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

Quintero, Chavez Likely Headed for Runoff

In District 3, incumbent Sal Quintero won a plurality of 41%. That is not enough to win the election outright. He will face Fresno City Councilmember Luis Chavez, who garnered 25%, in a Nov. 5 runoff. Quintero leads by 1,258 votes.

The district includes much of south Fresno, including downtown, as well as the surrounding communities.

Quintero expected a runoff with four candidates in the race.

“(The results) showed that the (plurality) of voters are happy with the work that we’ve put in on the Board of Supervisors and what we’ve accomplished. I believe that they were happy with the results, and I’m happy with the results,” Quintero said.

Experience, and handling the basics, Quintero said will carry him to re-election.

Chavez said it is time for a change.

“It’s always difficult to take out an incumbent that’s been around for 30 years,” Chavez said. “I respect what he did in the 1990s, but this election is not about the past, it’s about the future.”

Fresno City Councilmember Miguel Arias finished with 18%, and educator EJ Hinojosa had 16%. Chavez leads Arias by 624 votes.

Turnout in District 3, about 11%, was half of the vote total in two other supervisor races. Chavez said most voters he spoke with thought the election was in June.

“There’s no energy with regards to who the (Democratic presidential) nominee will be because everybody knows that it’s going to be Joe Biden. So there was really nothing at the top of the ticket to bring folks out,” Chavez said.

Nathan Magsig earned re-election to his third term representing District 5, defeating LGBT advocate Jennifer Cruz, 71% to 29%. The district covers parts of Clovis, Fresno, and the mountain communities.

Fresno State Sales Tax, Renaming Measures Fail

Fresno County voters again said no to a quarter-percent sales tax that would benefit Fresno State projects. Measure E is failing 56% to 44%, or 9,855 votes. Voters failed a similar measure in 2022.

Fresno developer Richard F. Spencer of Harris Construction was the main spender to pass Measure E. Supporters spent a total of $2 million as of Feb. 17.

“We did a much better job communicating this time, but for some reason the message didn’t get through to the people we needed to get through,” said Yes on Measure E spokesperson Tim Orman. “It’s a tax thing. And I also think voters don’t see a direct connection to Fresno State benefiting them.”

Orman said is “unlikely” Measure E would return again in November.

A coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and tax-fighting groups opposed. Businessman and former school board member Brooke Ashjian spent $35,000 to defeat the measure.

Ashjian compared the victory, especially with the money spent, to David versus Goliath.

“People aren’t going to pay twice for the same stuff,” Ashjian said. “This was a money grab from day one. Everybody knew it. They smelled it and it just didn’t pass the smell test.”

County voters overwhelming said no to Measure B, which would have given the Board of Supervisors the power to change place names within its jurisdiction. The eastern foothills community of Yokuts Valley — as recognized by the federal government — or Squaw Valley as it’s recognized by the county, was likely top of mind for voters.

Voters said no, 64% to 36%.

A state law that takes effect next January will remove “squaw” — considered a slur — from official signs and state-recognized maps. A state committee will be tasked with the renaming. County supervisors Nathan Magsig and Steve Brandau sponsored the measure.

However, voters did grant another Magsig/Brandau request — keeping the election dates of sheriff and district attorney to the traditional midyear primary election cycle. A state law moved those dates to the presidential primary years.

Voters agreed to the change to the change, 56% to 44%. Since Measure A conflicts with a state law, it is likely to end up in the courts.

Fowler Unified School District voters approved Measure G, a school bond, 63% to 37% (it needed 55%).

An Orange Cove tax measure for public safety is in jeopardy of failing. Although Measure O leads 65% to 35%, it needs two-thirds to pass.

Tangipa in Extremely Close Assembly Race

In Assembly District 8 — which includes parts of seven counties including Fresno — former Congressman George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, appears to be headed to November, garnering 37% of the vote.

His opponent is not immediately known. David Tangipa, a Clovis Republican, leads Clovis Democrat Caleb Helsel by just 35 votes for second place. The top two vote earners advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Tangipa, a staffer for Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, earned several sterling endorsements from the man he is attempting to replace —termed-out Jim Patterson, R-Fresno — to Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp and Sheriff John Zanoni. This is Tangipa’s first run for public office. He is a former Fresno State football player.

Helsel, 22 and also a political newcomer, is a substitute teacher with Clovis Unified. The district is 30% Democrat and it appears Helsel earned every one of those votes. He and Tangipa garnered 30.1%. He barely spent any money on the race.

“It was definitely a campaign that was shoestring,” Helsel said. “I’m proud of what we’ve achieved … I ran on a progressive platform in a red district. We are, as of right now, within striking distance of the top two.”

If there is a silver lining, Fresno County Democratic voters elected Helsel to the party’s central committee on Tuesday.

Tangipa is confident that numbers in his home Fresno County — the county with the most voters in the district — will continue to break his way. He is the leader there with 39%. Helsel did better in the smaller mountain counties that make up the district.

“I feel good that home is taking care of me,” Tangipa said.

Other Central Valley-oriented Assembly seats were not as dramatic.

In Assembly District 27 (Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties), incumbent Esmeralda Soria, D-Fresno, trails Joanna Garcia Rose, R-Atwater, 51% to 49%, or 356 votes. Since they were the only two running, both automatically advance.

In Fresno County-centered Assembly District 31, incumbent Joaquin Arambula leads Republican Solomon Verduzco, 60% to 40%. Both will advance as they are the only contestants.

As the only candidate in Assembly District 32 (Kern and Tulare counties), Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield, nominally won all the votes. However, the tally does not include write-in candidates. Although he is appearing on the ballot, Fong is also running for Congress and is concentrating on that race.

In Assembly District 33 (Tulare, Kings, Fresno counties), businesswoman Ali Macedo, R-Tulare, leads for the open seat with 43% of the vote. She apparently will face Democrat Xavier Avila, who is currently in second place at 24% in a four-person race.

Dyer Cruises to Second Term. His Future?

It was City Hall North at Fresno Jerry Dyer’s campaign party at The Woodward on Tuesday night. Surrounded by several on his staff, Dyer easily won a second term, with 81% of the vote over two lesser-known candidates.

Dyer said building housing and revitalizing downtown are priorities for his second term. He also wants to concentrate on “quality of life issues.”

“That’s making sure that our streets are well maintained. The graffiti is removed. And, we’re holding some of those folks accountable, responsible for graffiti,” Dyer said.

The city is projected to be $10 million in the red in the next fiscal year. Dyer understands the challenge.

“We’re taking steps now to find ways to be more innovative, more creative, and to make some, some strategic cuts without impacting services,” Dyer said.

Looking to the future, Dyer said he’s been approached by both Democrats and Republicans to run for a higher office. Could a 2028 congressional run be in Dyer’s future?

“I don’t know yet. I’ve always been an executive type, so that’s where my heart is. But you never know what God may open up in terms of doors in the future,” Dyer said.

GV Wire spotted four of the seven councilmembers attending the party at one point — the other three, Garry Bredefeld, Luis Chavez, and Miguel Arias also had their own campaign events.

Fresno District 6 Heads to Runoff. Karbassi, Maxwell Re-Elected

In the only open city council seat, it appears attorney Roger Bonakdar and Nick Richardson will head to a runoff.

In District 6 (northeast Fresno), Bonakdar leads with 36%. Richardson, a veteran and safety consultant, earned 28%.

Bonakdar expected to finish first.

“There’s some pretty tremendous differences there (with Richardson). I think Fresno needs professional-grade representation,” Bonakdar said.

Bonakdar said he is the candidate that has the professional experience to handle budgets and fight for public safety.

“I’m the only candidate that can deliver on that. Period,” Bonakdar said.

Also running were fundraising consultant Molly Fagundes-Johnston (23%) and banker Raj Sodhi-Layne (13%). Richardson leads Fagundes-Johnston by 472 votes.

Mike Karbassi won re-election for his second full term representing District 2 (northwest Fresno) on the city council. He defeated transportation nonprofit leader Matthew Gillian, 74% to 26%.

Karbassi said he will remain focused on public safety.

“My next term is going to be focusing on the nonviolent offenders like identity theft, mailbox theft, red light runners, the kind of things that really cause a nuisance to folks, and focusing on bringing those plans down,” Karbassi said.

Regarding the looming budget deficit, Karbassi said “If we economize a little bit, hopefully, we can avoid any cuts whatsoever, continue the high-quality services we offer, but we’re going to have to grow our economy.”

Tyler Maxwell won his second term, running in east-central District 4 unopposed.

He would not comment on rumors he is interested in running for mayor in 2028. He had goals for his second term, continuing policies that “help our working-class families, that might be living paycheck to paycheck, struggling, hard-working families just trying to make ends meet. Going to be focusing on making life better for those folks.”

Congress: Fong and Who Else?

Fong leads in the Congressional District 20 race with 39% to advance to November. It might be an all-Republican election.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, R-Springville, is currently in second place at 25%, or about 2,300 votes ahead of educator Marisa Wood, D-Bakersfield. Wood leads in returns over Boudreaux from Kern County, which has been notoriously slow in updating its vote totals.

“I am humbled and grateful that so many Central Valley residents have put their trust in me to represent them in Congress. While there are still many ballots to count, voters have sent a clear message tonight that they are ready for experienced, trusted, tested leadership in Washington D.C.,” Fong said in a news release.

Wood is optimistic she will take the second position and advance. She has 2,800 more votes in Kern County than Boudreaux. The county is notoriously slow updating poll results.

“I’m excited and energized just by the positioning we have now. I think the strong showing of a Democratic candidate is is going to be the beginning of change in this district,” Wood said.

Boudreaux was strongest in his home district of Tulare County, with 49%. Wood and Boudreaux are close in Fresno County, behind Fong.

“We’re encouraged by the current trajectory of results across all four counties and are optimistic that remaining ballots continue this trend and advance Sheriff Boudreaux into a run-off in November,” his campaign manager Alex Tavlian said.

In Congressional District 22, incumbent David Valadao, R-near Hanford, appears to be set for a 2022 rematch against former Assemblymember Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield.

Valadao earned 34%, Salas 28%. Republican Chris Mathys finished third in the four-person race at 22%.

The other Central Valley-oriented races were set, and all will be 2022 rematches:

District 5: incumbent Tom McClintock, R-Roseville, 57% and Mike Barkley, D-Manteca, 34%

District 13: incumbent John Duarte, R-Modesto (54%) and former Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced (46%)

District 21: incumbent Jim Costa, D-Fresno (53%) and businessman Michael Maher, R-Kingsburg (47%).

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
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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