Candidates for Fresno mayor Henry Perea and Lee Brand have spirited debate at ABC30 studios

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Mayoral candidates Henry Perea and Lee Brand came to the ABC30 studios to lay out their vision for the city of Fresno and show why they deserve your vote.

Our exclusive Action News poll shows both candidates even with 44-percent of the support from 569 voters polled. The key number here-- the undecided vote which rounds out at 13-percent.

"And I think in the last three weeks it's going to be who gets out the message. Does that message resonate with voters, and I think my message of solutions, of business experience, transforming this economy-- my record speaks for itself," said Brand.

"We take nothing for granted. We head into election day with a strong ground operation, a strong mail operation, and just continue looking for those undecided voters and convincing them that we're the candidate to move this city forward," said Perea.

During the Action News debate, Brand and Perea were asked which presidential candidate they support.

Perea said, "Is there a perfect candidate? No, but is there a candidate that I believe can lead this country? The answer is yes, and I believe that's Clinton."

"At this point, I'm still gonna watch how the debate goes between the candidates. In the end, I just may check none of the above," said Brand.

The two candidates also sparred over issues such as how to best improve public safety as well as Fresno's image.

"I don't want to simply make this a better city. I want to make this city transformed, get beyond generational poverty, high unemployment, all the bad things," said Brand.

Perea answered, "I think Fresno is ready to be an all-American city again. I think when you look to the next leader they're gonna see who can make us safe again in our neighborhoods."

With the mayoral race a dead heat both candidates said voters outside their own party may hold the key.

"At some point just like a country, a city unites regardless of party. So it's important that you message all across all party lines," said Perea.

Brand said, "We sent out three mailers today. Democrats, Independents, and Republicans all targeted. We have one team south of Shaw. One team north of Shaw."

This was the 12th time Brand and Perea have faced off, but our poll clearly shows many voters have not yet made a choice.
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