Let the usual promise-making begin: More public safety, more jobs, no more potholes.
Campaign 2018 for the Fresno City Council is officially here.
Friday (March 9) was the last day for candidates to file their paperwork for the June 5 primary, officials at the City Clerk’s Office tell me. Four council seats are up for grabs: Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7.
District 1 won’t be much of a race. Incumbent Esmeralda Soria is the only candidate.
District 5 incumbent Luis Chavez is running for reelection. He has two opponents – Paula Yang and Paul Condon, according to the City Clerk’s website.
District 3 Council Member Oliver Baines is termed out in January 2019. The following candidates have thrown their hats into the ring: Darren Miller, Kimberly Tapscott-Munson, Miguel Arias, Larry Tyrone Burrus, Sean Sanchez, Craig Scharton and Tate Hill.
District 7 Council Member Clint Olivier also is termed out in January. Three candidates want to succeed him: Brian Whelan, Nelson Esparza and Veva Islas.
The City Clerk’s Office as of mid-afternoon on March 9 had posted on its website a copy of each candidate’s “Residency Checklist” (excluding the two incumbents – council members file each year a signed affidavit declaring that their residence is in their district).
To pass, each candidate has to get a check in two boxes: “Residence located within Council District sought” and “Documents establish at least 30 days of residency prior to nomination paper filing deadline.”
All of the candidates but District 3’s Miller had checks in both boxes. Miller’s residence is in the district. But as of mid-afternoon on March 9, Miller had yet to get the check in the “Documents establish at least 30 days of residency prior to nomination paper filing deadline” box.
Officials at the City Clerk’s Office said candidates had until 5 p.m. Friday to file their paperwork. If someone filed at the last minute, the City Clerk’s Office would need a few days to verify the candidate’s residency.
Otherwise, according to the City Clerk’s website, the candidates listed above are the only ones in the arena.
Incumbency, money and name-recognition strike me as the three main assets for a successful council campaign. That’s because municipal government is easy in theory, and the campaign trail is all about theory. Anyone truly serious about winning will focus on police, fire, economic development, infrastructure, fiscal prudence, bipartisan collaboration and north-south equity. That makes it hard for candidates to pitch a message that stands out.
The hard part of municipal government is execution.