Mayor Ashley Swearengin noted some key projects are moving forward in Fresno. Now Swearengin wants to do the same with her political career and serve as controller. Swearengin said, "Most people don't realize how much influence that particular job has over our business climate in the state of California and I think there's an opportunity to make big and important changes for Fresno area businesses and frankly throughout the state."
18 days after telling President Obama about Fresno's struggles with the drought and poverty, Swearengin envisioned processing state payroll and conducting audits - though she has the option of pulling out by Friday. She explained, "I'll be doing double duty over the next few months both as a candidate assuming I do run and also serving as mayor and if I'm elected I would be sworn in next year and plan to stay in Fresno and do the work of the Office of Controller from here."
Swearengin's campaign consultant Tim Clark said, "Outside of the Office of the Governor it really is the most influential office to influence the state's economy and the state competitiveness for attracting and retaining businesses."
ABC30 political analyst Tony Capozzi said the republican mayor has a shot though it will be a tough battle in a democratic state. "Once you get outside Fresno, California it gets much more difficult and it's going to be difficult for someone who is unknown statewide to raise large amounts of money for this race."
Mayor Swearengin has three years left in her second term. 40% of the people in our exclusive Action News poll conducted by SurveyUSA felt it was appropriate for Swearengin to run for controller during her mayoral term. 43% said it was not appropriate. 17% weren't sure.
Other candidates running for State Controller in the June primary include democrats Betty Yee, Assembly Speaker John Perez and Laura Wells of the green party. The top two finishers face off in November.