Perea Political Dynasty Continues, Zanoni Is New Fresno County Sheriff – GV Wire

Fresno County will have a new sheriff and a candidate for city council has won her seat.

And, it appears Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes won re-election avoiding a runoff.

With all precincts reporting in the county, Deputy Sheriff John Zanoni garnered 57% of the vote, beating Fresno Deputy Police Chief Mark Salazar.

“It was a great evening and I am encouraged by the initial results. We are cautiously optimistic and are waiting for the police stations to report. If the margin holds after the precinct report, we are confident of winning the election,” Zanoni texted GV Wire.

Zanoni received the endorsement of current Sheriff Margaret Mims – who is retiring after her term.

All results are as of 10:28 p.m. Tuesday. County Clerk James Kus said there were 35,200 ballots left to count. Participation was 15%.

John Zanoni, seen in February when he announced his run, will succeed Margaret Mims as sheriff. (GV Wire/Johnny Soto)

Fresno County Sheriff
Candidate Voting %
John Zanoni 40,076 57.4%
Marc Salazar 29,734 42.6%
To register 84
TOTAL 69,810

Perea wins four-way race for council

Annalisa Perea may have had the biggest night in local politics. Capturing 58% of the vote in a four-way race, Perea appears to have won his Fresno City Council District 1 seat. This means she will avoid a runoff in November and be sworn in on January 3, 2023.

Perea beat public relations professional Cary Catalano (25%), former councilman and Assemblyman Mike Briggs (12%) and former police officer Jeremy Preis (5%).

“We brought people together from all sides of the political aisle because ultimately we were focused on what was in the best interests of the people,” Perea said in a victory speech Tuesday night at Full. Circle Brewery.

Perea will succeed Esmeralda Soria, who is leaving the seat.

With the win, Perea becomes the third in her family to serve on city council, following her father Henry R. Perea (1997-2003) and brother Henry T. Perea (2003-2011).

Fresno City Council District 1
Candidate Voting %
Annalisa Perea 2,789 57.5%
Cary Catalano 1,222 25.2%
mike briggs 589 12.1%
Jeremy Preis 245 5.1%
To register 5
TOTAL 4,850

Fresno council holders win

Three other Fresno City Council incumbents easily won their races.

District 3 Councilman Miguel Arias will return to represent Southwest Fresno and Downtown, winning 61% of the vote over two other candidates.

Luis Chavez will serve his second full term and third overall, beating Sanger Unified School Commissioner Brandon Vang, 55%-45%. Chavez represents Southeast Fresno as part of District 5.

Nelson Esparza easily won District 7, which, after redistricting, stretches from central Fresno eastward. He beat two virtual unknowns with 66% of the vote.

Attendance at council races was low, ranging from 9% to 13%.

Councilman Miguel Arias delivers a victory speech for his successful re-election. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Mendes returns to the Hall of Records

Supervisor Buddy Mendes

Buddy Mendes appears to be heading for his third term on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, securing enough votes to avoid a runoff.

Mendes won 52% of the vote, with former city administrator Jose Antonio Ramirez at 25% and Fowler councilman Danny Parra at 23%.

A November runoff would be needed if Mendes falls below 50% plus one.

District 1 Supervisor Brian Pacheco won his third term. He had no opponent.

Fresno County Supervisor, District 4
Candidate Voting %
Boyfriend Mendes 5,605 52.2%
Jose Antonio Ramirez 2,702 25.2%
Danny Parra 2,411 22.5%
To register 13
TOTAL 10,731

Regional overview

  • Measure Z, to extend Fresno County’s one-tenth of a cent sales tax for the Chaffee Zoo, was easily won with 82 percent. It only took two-thirds to pass.
  • Michelle Cantwell-Copher won a three-way race for Fresno County Schools Superintendent with 64%. She will replace Jim Yovino, who is retiring at the end of his term. Yovino endorsed Cantwell-Copher.
  • Clovis Councilman Bob Whalen has officially won his election as Fresno County Judge. He was the only candidate. That will create a vacancy now for his City Council seat in November.
  • Sarah Hacker defeated incumbent Kings County District Attorney Keith Fagundes, winning 58% of the vote. Fagundes was accused of ethical breaches during the campaign.