Fresno County Supervisor Candidate Debate

3/4/2008 Fresno Monday's forum was sponsored by the Fresno Deputy Sheriff Association, and public safety and the tight county budget were the hot topics. Five supervisor candidates vying for two seats squared off Monday in Downtown Fresno.

There were few attacks, but one District Five candidate did issue a challenge. Debbie Poochigian, wife of former State Senator Chuck Poochigian pledged to fund the offices of Sheriff, District Attorney and Probation first. "Because it is our number one priority, I've asked my opponent, Nathan Magsig, to sign the same pledge," said Poochigian.

Her opponent, Clovis City Council Member Nathan Magsig insisted no pledge was needed. "My record proves that my priorities & commitment have been to public safety, so I don't think I need to sign a pledge because my record is a pledge," said Magsig, "What makes me different than my opponent is I've got proven leadership. I've been on the Council; I've balanced 7 different budgets."

Debbie Poochigian countered, "I've been around a lot longer, had a lot more life experience, been involved in our community a lot longer, have wonderful relationships all around the state, where I could work with state and federal leaders."

For the District Two seat, incumbent Susan Anderson faces Fresno City Council Member Brian Calhoun, and accountant Paul Dictos.

Dictos focused on his business background saying, "The County's broke- broke broke broke- broke broke broke- and unless we change that, we're going to go down."

Anderson oversaw the steep cuts to the County's $1.7-billion dollar budget and doesn't think that will hurt her. "Our budget is; we're tight. I'm not going to deny that. So is the state, so are most other counties, but we've done a good job managing your funds."

Both Anderson and Calhoun support a public safety tax, but Calhoun sells himself as more accessible. "I talk to people, my opponent doesn't talk to anybody," said Calhoun, "I work hard for this job, I don't sit around and wait for a campaign manager to do the work for me."

The Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association's 450 members will vote Wednesday night for their endorsement.

The group has already backed Supervisor Henry Perea who is running unopposed.

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