Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Political Notebook: No challengers for Clovis Council incumbents Ashbeck, Magsig

For the second straight Clovis Council election, there will be no election.

Incumbents Lynne Ashbeck and Nathan Magsig were up for election next March on the five-member board, but no challengers stepped forward during the filing period that ended last Friday.

In fact, only two people besides Ashbeck and Magsig even pulled nomination papers, though neither returned them.

During the filing period for the 2011 Clovis election, 10 people pulled papers — and none returned them to challenge the incumbents. That election was canceled and incumbents Harry Armstrong, Jose Flores and Bob Whalen were all appointed to the council for four more years.

The same thing will now happen to Ashbeck and Magsig.

Both had immediately said they would seek re-election when the filing period opened last month.

“You never know what to expect in government and politics,” Magsig said.

He has no idea, he said, why no challengers stepped forward.

“All I can say is I’m honored the citizens of Clovis will be giving me an opportunity to serve another four years in office,” he said. “I think we’ve got a great council.”

The good news for Clovis residents is the city will save the estimated $150,000 cost to put on the election.

On the other hand, some political watchers say it isn’t good for the democratic process when elected officials don’t have to stand for reelection — even if they are doing a good job.

Political Notebook: No TV in 5th Assembly race and other quick hits as Election Day nears

A few tidbits and quick hits as Election Day closes in:

The 5th Assembly District sprawls across all or parts of nine counties in the western Sierra foothills, across the highest peaks and over to the Nevada border.

There’s tons of square miles, and no real big cities.

So how does a candidate reach voters? Not by television, it seems, at least not during the general election.

Calaveras County businessman Rico Oller and Madera County Supervisor Frank Bigelow are passing up TV in favor of radio, lots of radio, as well as mailers, to get their message to voters.

“TV for that district is nearly impossible,” said said political analyst Tony Quinn, a former GOP legislative aide and co-editor of California Target Book, a nonpartisan analysis of legislative and congressional races.

The main TV markets are Fresno and Sacramento — or even Reno — but they only cover parts of the district. It’s not much bang for the buck, Quinn said.

Both Oller and Bigelow have purchased radio spots on stations in Bishop, Sonora, Fresno, Modesto, Merced, Jackson, Mammoth Lakes and Stateline and Reno in neighboring Nevada.

It’s hard to get all seven Fresno City Council members to agree on much of anything, but it appears they’ve come together on State Center Community College District trustee Richard Caglia.

Lee Brand, Andreas Borgeas, Blong Xiong, Larry Westerlund, Sal Quintero, Oliver Baines and Clint Olivier have all endorsed Caglia for reelection over challenger Kevin Hall in District 7 on the State Center board.

A few weeks ago Fresno County Supervisor Debbie Poochigian not only announced her endorsement of Jim Patterson over Bob Whalen in the 23rd Assembly District race, she also sent her constituents a letter urging them to support the former Fresno mayor as well.

Now, we know how much that cost.

Patterson’s latest campaign finance report shows Poochigian spent $3,635.52 on postage, envelopes and letters.

Otto Lee, the Bay Area Democrat who is challenging incumbent Republican Devin Nunes in the 22nd Congressional District, is now a Clovis resident.
Lee, a lawyer and former City Council member and mayor of Sunnyvale, had lived in the Bay Area during the primary. But this week his campaign said he was a Clovis resident.

Fresno County elections officials confirmed Lee changed his voter registration from Sunnyvale to a Clovis apartment in June.