Fresno Mayor's Race Officially Begins

2/11/2008 With current Mayor Alan Autry termed out, it's a crowded field for the mayor's race. Eight candidates have declared an interest so far, and most "pulled papers" today, indicating they are ready to run.

Three of the candidates are current members of the City Council. Jerry Duncan, Mike Dages and Henry T. Perea made their candidacies official with filings at the County Elections Office. They outlined their priorities for us.

Jerry Duncan said, "Well, obviously, it's public safety, we've got to do something to combat gangs and do what we can to get that problem under control."

Mike Dages said, "I want to make Fresno the solar capital of the world, for number one, I also want to make it the recreational capital of the world for number two."

Henry t. Perea said, "Public safety is going to be a big issue this election season, the economy is going to be a huge issue especially we're seeing so many foreclosures in our community, and air quality is going to be a big issue."

Former City Council Member Tom Boyajian also filed for his candidacy on the first day, as did Fresno Police Detective Henry Monreal.

The only woman running so far is Ashley Swearengin. She's an economic development expert and plans a campaign kickoff on Tuesday. "My passion is seeing the economy grow here locally, seeing more higher paying jobs more educational opportunities for the people of Fresno, if we can get those things right we see things like gangs, and crime and other issues, really dissipate," said Swearengin.

Deputy Mayor Jeff Eben is expected to file his campaign papers this week, as is Fresno Businessman Jim Boswell.

Anyone who wants to run for mayor has until March 7th to file nominating papers.

The field will be narrowed to the top two in the June 3rd primary election.

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