Fresno Mayoral Hopefuls Hit the Trail

September 6, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The candidates for Fresno's next mayor are hitting the streets hard, gearing up for Election Day--trying to gather votes.Henry T. Perea kicked off his general election campaign earlier Saturday. He said uniting all of Fresno will help him reach his goal of becoming Fresno's next mayor.

If you haven't seen them around Fresno you will. Volunteers are placing signs around town: Perea for mayor.

Volunteer Raj Bath said: "I think he has innovative ideas and he's energetic."

Volunteer Edgar Gomez said: "I believe we need young blood in city council."

Mayoral hopeful Perea rallied his volunteers in Northeast Fresno for his general election run. "Whether I knock on doors in north or the south people are talking about the same things. They want safe neighborhoods, breathe clean air and they want to have good jobs," said Perea.

Perea has gathered support from groups like the Police Officers Association and chamber of commerce. Jackie Parks with the Police Officers Association said: "He's got a track record, we can look back at his votes, and we know what he's done for our community."

Chamber of Commerce's Al Smith said: "You can always sit down and plead your case to Henry. He listens, he listens, and he listens."

But Fresno voters are also listening to Perea's challenger Ashley Swearengin. "We hear consistently that people are looking for an outsider with business experience and they don't want politics as usual and that's really true across this community," said Swearengin.

Swearengin said she will address the issues voters say they're most concerned with: the economy, gangs and education. "Everything's at stake now. It's a very important race."

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