Fresno Mayoral Race Getting Expensive

October 24, 2008 7:26:19 PM PDT
The Fresno mayoral candidates are spending well over $1.4 million in their quest to become the city's new leader according to their latest financial filings. But with less than two weeks to go their resources are dwindling.The most recent campaign disclosures were filed Thursday and show that the candidates raised nearly $200,000 within the last month alone.

Between October 1st and 18th, Ashley Swearengin raised more than $117,000, bringing her total amount to more than $738,000. Perea raised more than $76,000 in that same period -- bringing his total to more than $675,000.

This week both candidates spent some of that money on television ads. Swearengin's ad features Republican Assembly Leader Mike Villines with Democrat Assemblyman Juan Arambula. In it, she's credited with bringing 20 thousand jobs to the valley and voters are told she'll protect law enforcement.

Perea talks directly to voters in his ads, addressing issues like public safety and jobs. Fresno state professor Jill Fields says the two candidates are taking a very different approach to reach voters. "It seemed like Perea wanted to focus on issues and solving problems? Swearingen is the bigger picture, bringing people together, sounds good, but it's a little more general." In fact, Fields believes those good feelings may overshadow Swearingen's 'jobs' message.

Fields says voters will appreciate that both candidates' stayed positive. "Most of the voters in Fresno will find that to be a welcome approach, that they're focusing on their own message rather than attacking," said Fields.

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day both of the candidates still have a lot of work to do. The latest exclusive Action News Poll conducted by Survey U.S.A. showed Swearengin leading over Perea, but only by five points. Nine percent were undecided. As Swearengin and Perea try to reach those undecided voters during the coming days they will be doing so with limited funds. The latest filings show they each have less than $75,000 left.

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