The most familiar name in the 23rd assembly district race is former Fresno mayor, Jim Patterson. The Christian radio station owner is running on his previous experience and performance in public office.
“We did a lot things that I think we need to do in Sacramento. We improved public safety, the crime rates went down to a 25-year low,” said Patterson, a republican candidate.
Former Clovis mayor and current city councilman Bob Whalen points to his endorsements to vouch for his character and principals.
“I feel really fortunate that I have both of the last two Fresno mayors endorse me in this campaign. [I] have been able to get Larry Powell, the Fresno County School Superintendent,” said Whalen, a republican candidate.
Whalen works for the district attorney's office. Two others on the ballot are also lawyers. One of them is David DeFrank.
“My name's never been on a ballot before. It's something I'm really proud of. Some of the other candidates have spent quite some in elected office and I think that voters are ready for perspective and fresh ideas,” said DeFrank, a republican candidate.
Vong Mouanoutoua is also a newcomer to the political scene. An immigrant from Laos who got his law degree, he wants to share the American dream.
“Those opportunities are slowly slipping away. Even in just 30 years being here, if I don't step up, if I don't do it, then what will my children have?” said Mouanoutoua, a republican candidate.
Mouanoutoua is reaching out to all voters, including democrats. The only democrat on the ballot is Richard Rojas. He's a former state worker and current union rep.
“Legislators represent their constituents of this district much the way that unions represent their members,” said Rojas, a democratic candidate.
The 23rd assembly district includes most of Fresno County east of the 99, as well as parts of Tulare County. The top two voter-getters move on to the general election in November.