Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

On eve of Larson announcement, candidate emerges for his supervisor seat

On Thursday, Fresno County Supervisor Phil Larson turns 80. Besides being a notable birthday, it’s also the day Larson said he’d announce whether he’d run again for his District 1 seat.

If Larson calls it a career, it will almost certainly be a hotly contested race next June.

Already, Kerman dairyman Brian Pacheco has filed official documents with the Fresno County clerk’s office that start the process to raise money and campaign for the seat.

Brian Pacheco

So, either Pacheco is ready to challenge Larson, or he knows something about Larson’s plans that haven’t been publicly divulged. The answer is unknown because Pacheco didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Whatever the case, Pacheco — a former Fresno County Farm Bureau president — filed a Candidate Intention Statement and a Statement of Organization.
Larson’s decision could set the stage for a major shakeup on the five-member board. If he doesn’t run, it will mean two of the five board seats will be up for grabs with no incumbent seeking re-election.

Last month, Sanger resident Judy Case announced that she’ll step down from her District 4 seat.

Riverdale farmer Ernest “Buddy” Mendes, 57, and Fowler Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Parra, 48, have both indicated they’ll run for the seat, though only Mendes has filed paperwork with the clerk’s office.

Phil Larson

This week, they were joined by a third potential candidate — former Reedley Council Member Steve Rapada.

In 2011, Rapada resigned his Reedley council seat after it was discovered he moved out of the district he represents.

Like Mendes and Pacheco, Rapada has also filed official paperwork.

His entry brings to three the number of people saying they want to succeed Case, but many more are expected. A dozen names are currently being floated of people who are interested in the seat.