Race for Fresno Mayor Is Heating Up

March 11, 2008 8:59:03 PM PDT
In less than three months, Fresno voters will make their choice for the city's next mayor.Our latest exclusive action news poll shows one candidate with a growing lead, and a tight battle for second place.

Our action news SurveyUSA poll asked more than 500 likely voters who they would vote for mayor if the election were held right now.

31 percent said Fresno City Councilman Henry T. Perea, followed by Economic Development expert Ashley Swearengin with 15 percent.

13 percent chose former City Councilman Tom Boyajian, and Jerry Duncan had nine percent.

The top two vote getters in June will likely face off in a runoff in November.

As the race moves ahead to the primary, the gap is widening between first and second place. But the second place spot is the one to watch. It's a virtual dead heat and whoever takes second will be moving onto the general election.

An exclusive action news poll conducted by SurveyUSA on the Fresno Mayor's race shows competition is heating up, not for the lead, but for second place.

Economic Development expert Ashley Swearengin and former Fresno City Councilman Tom Boyajian are neck and neck separated by just 2 points.

Ashley Swearengin, Mayoral Candidate: "I'm really optimistic, it's great to see I've moved forward in the polls and I just think it shows my campaign is catching fire. Everywhere I go people tell me they're looking for an outsider who'se got business experience and that's what I bring to the table."

Tom Boyajian, Mayoral Candidate: "I'm happy that I'm in the top two and we're battling it and thank you for the people that voted for me and that's all I can say."

Councilman Henry T. Perea is gaining even more momentum in the survey taken this past weekend he leads Swearengin by 16 points. Despite his two to one lead Perea says he is not taking the numbers for granted.

Henry T. Perea, Mayoral Candidate: "What I've learned by watching politics for as long as I have is things can change very quickly so while I'm pleased with the results we take it with a grain of salt. We're still gonna work hard, I'm still going to knock on doors five hours a day and I'm still going to stay positive and stay focused on the issues."

Fresno City Councilman Jerry Duncan is a distant third at nine percent. Duncan says he's not very concerned and doesn't give much credibility to polls.

Jerry Duncan, Mayoral Candidate: "I don't put much stock into these. We're getting our message out. People are responding well we're getting the support we need and I don't really worry too much about this kind of stuff. I don't really think it represents the true picture out there."

Fresno Deputy Mayor Jeff Eben is in fourth place with five percent, followed by Councilman Mike Dages at four percent, Businessman Jim Boswell at three percent and police detective Henry Monreal with two percent.

There's room for improvement for all candidates, since 15 percent of those we surveyed said they were either undecided or wanted another candidate.

Fresno Realtor Ignacio Garibay received one percent of the votes in our poll. Two additional candidates have also entered the race, they are former Fresno County Supervisor Doug Vagim, Fresno resident Barbara Hunt.


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