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Mayor Swearengin Removes 'Fresno' From November Ballot, Adds 'CEO' to Title
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin is making a bid for state controller in the November general election, but you won't see "Fresno" on the ballot.
The mayor has listed her job title as Mayor/CEO.
Some are questioning why Swearengin would drop the word "Fresno" from that description.
As of last week when the Secretary of State's office released its certified list of candidates, Swearengin's title changed from "Mayor, City of Fresno" on the June primary election ballot to "Mayor/CEO" for the November general election ballot.
"I think you need an identification as to what you're CEO of or what you're mayor of. And that's missing," says political analyst Don Larson. "It's sort of like, why aren't you telling us this?"
The California Elections Code states that candidates should use words that designate their elective office.
The title of CEO is accurate.
Swearengin's position as mayor does make her the city's chief executive officer, according to the city's charter.
But, how do voters feel about that?
"I've never heard that before. So I probably would disagree with her," says voter Nancy Schacher.
"The Fresno thing isn't different to me, I just think the CEO is kind of the wrong term to use when you're representing Fresno, or any other city for that matter," says voter Austin Pendleton.
Swearengin's campaign manager Tim Clark says the title adjustment on the ballot more accurately fits Swearengin's duties.
"The city is a corporation organized under a nonprofit status. It's actually the corporation of the City of Fresno, which has 3,200 employees and a $1 billion budget," Clark says.
Candidates are limited to three words for their title description.
Larson says, Swearengin could've included all of the words by using the title "Fresno Mayor/CEO."
"To walk away from the identification of "Fresno" is, well, kind of a disservice to Fresno, and certainly a lack of information for the voters," Larson says.
The Secretary of State's office approved the title change.
A representative in the communications office says candidates sometimes make adjustments to their titles but it's not very common.