Henry R. Perea Announces He Will Run For Fresno Mayor
There’s a new candidate in the race to become Fresno’s next mayor. FM89’s Joe Moore reports Henry R. Perea’s announcement that he plans to run could shake up the race to lead the 5th largest city in the state.
After years of rumors, Perea made it official Friday, announcing his candidacy to replace the termed out Ashley Swearengin. Perea has served on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors since 2004, and before that he was a member of the Fresno City Council.
The decision wasn’t an easy one for Perea. By running for mayor, he can’t run for re-election to his Supervisors seat, which would have been a relatively safe contest.
While the mayor’s office is officially a non-partisan race, Perea becomes the only Democrat in the contest. Other candidates include city councilmember Lee Brand and pastor activist H. Spees, who are both Republicans.
Perea could face an uphill race. While he has strong name recognition and will likely garner big support from organized labor, Fresno voters have yet to elect a Democrat mayor since the city adopted the strong mayor form of government in the mid 1990’s.
The last Democrat to give the race a serious run was also named Perea. In 2008, Henry R. Perea's son, Henry T. Perea lost to Swearengin in the general election, garnering 45 percent of the vote to Swearengin's 54 percent.