By Community Alliance Staff
California’s statewide primary will occur on June 7, but early voting is already under way. Every registered voter should have received a ballot in the mail. You can return that ballot by mail, via a dropbox, at the Registrar’s Office (2221 Kern St.) or at any vote center.
The 11-day vote centers opened on May 28 and will remain open daily, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., through Election Day. On June 4–6, all vote centers will be open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and on Election Day 7 a.m.–8 p.m. For dropbox and vote center locations, and other election-related information, visit VoteFresnoCounty.com. Spanish-language assistance is available at all vote centers.
Key Local Races
The Primary ballot includes races for the U.S. Senate, all statewide constitutional offices, U.S. Congress, the Board of Equalization and the state legislature, as well as the countywide races, two Board of Supervisors seats and the odd-numbered Fresno City Council districts.
A few of the key local races are outlined below. Each of these highlighted races will be decided in June if any candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.
Fresno County Board of Supervisors District 4: Buddy Mendes (Republican), the controversial two-term incumbent from Riverdale, faces two challengers. Jose Ramirez (Democrat) resides in Selma and has served as city manager of three Central Valley cities: Orange Cove, Firebaugh and Livingston. Daniel Parra (Democrat) is a Fowler City Council member who ran unsuccessfully for this seat in 2014.
Fresno County Superintendent of Schools: With incumbent Jim Yovino stepping down, this open seat has attracted three candidates. Daren Miller (Democrat) has worked in a variety of educational positions and previously served as a Fresno County Board of Education trustee. Eliseo Gamino (Democrat) also has a vast background in diverse educational positions and currently serves as a Firebaugh-Los Deltas Unified School District trustee. Michele Cantwell-Copher (Democrat) works in the Educational Leadership and Development Division of the superintendent’s office.
Fresno County Sheriff: Another rare opening at the county level with Margaret Mims opting to retire has seen two candidates step forward. Mark Salazar (Democrat) is currently the Fresno Police Department’s deputy chief of investigations. John Zanoni (Republican), an assistant sheriff, is Mims’ handpicked successor.
Fresno City Council District 1: With incumbent Esmeralda Soria terming out, four candidates are vying to replace her. Annalisa Perea (Democrat) is an urban planner who currently serves as a State Center Community College District trustee. Cary Catalano (Democrat) is a business owner who ran unsuccessfully for this seat in 2014. Mike Briggs (Republican), a realtor who also operates an online TV station, previously served on the City Council and seeks to return. Jeremy Preis (Republican) is a former police officer and a small business owner.
We have two oddities in this primary election.
First, for the U.S. Senate race, you need to vote twice. One vote is for the full term of six years. The second vote is to confirm the appointment of Governor Gavin Newsom for the balance of the current term vacated by Kamala Harris when she was elected vice president in the 2020 election.
Second, in the old Congressional District 22, the seat from which Devin Nunes resigned to run Donald Trump’s failing media company, there is a runoff election between Connie Conway (Republican) and Lourin Hubbard (Democrat), who advanced from the March primary. If you live in any part of the old CD22, you will be voting in two Congressional elections: the seat to fill the balance of Nunes’ term and the full-term seat for a different district. The old CD22 is now split into multiple new Congressional districts.