Quarter Million Dollar Mayor's Race

March 25, 2008 8:45:37 PM PDT
The quest to be Fresno's next mayor is expensive. City Councilman Mike Dages says, "I've raised $132,000." "We're showing about $209,000," said councilmember Henry T. Perea. And economic development expert Swearingen told action news she's raised "just over $142,000." With less than three months left before June's election the candidates are racing to fill their coffers. Perea said, "A lot of that money is used for staff, websites, mail pieces, TV and radio commercials."

Our exclusive Action News Survey USA poll conducted earlier this month shows Perea with a strong lead in the race. A look at his campaign finance reports show he's leading there too having raised a total of 228-thousand dollars. Swearingen has brought in 147-thousand dollars. Mike Dages reported 132-thousand, followed by former Councilman Tom Boyajian with 41-thousand dollars in campaign funds.

Dages admits, "I'll probably have to do more with less." And Swearingen told us "If you're a sitting elected official you should be raising so much more than I am but you know what I raised so much more than they have."

But front runner Perea doesn't believe his abundant war chest has anything to do with his two to one lead over Ashley Swearingen. "I think the critical piece of the entire campaign is voters want to know you and the best way I know how to do that is to go door-to-door and going directly to that voter and asking for their support." Mike Dages and some of the other candidates know they've got a lot of work to do to catch up to Perea in the polls and the purse. "God bless her, my wife is out now walking precincts right now and knocking on doors for me." However, both Dages and Perea have a distinct edge... Dages transferred 65-thousand dollars leftover from his city council campaign and Perea moved over 77-grand. Swearingen believes, "It is an advantage I'm not going to call it unfair because those are the rules of the game." The two candidates with the most votes in June's primary election will move on to a runoff in November.


Load Comments