FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Election season is usually in November, but April is proving to be an active month for Fresno County’s elections office.

Not only is the elections office working to fill the congressional vacancy left by Devin Nunes, but it is also looking to fill the vacancy left following the passing of long-time Fresno Unified trustee Carol Mills in July 2021.

Mills was first elected to the Fresno Unified Board of Trustees in 2004. Four candidates are now looking to take on the role of representing Area 5.

We reached out to each candidate with a series of questions (what the candidate stands for, what they would do if elected and why they want to run for election.)

The four candidates were initially contacted via email on Wednesday. Candidate Andy Levine responded to the questions, while details on the other candidates were gathered from their promotional materials on their websites and Facebook pages. Each office was also asked to provide permission for use of a candidate’s photo. Daniel Renteria’s office did not provide permission, therefore he is not pictured.

Russ Allen

Russ Allen is a former teacher with Fresno Unified and graduated from Fresno High School. He has taught math, science, and ESL classes. He also coached baseball, softball, and a music class. He was also a Fresno Teachers Association representative.

If elected, Allen says he will come out of retirement to fend for the needs of Fresno High’s students and parents and question each decision.

Andrew Fabela

Andrew Fabela worked with former trustee Carol MIlls for almost 20 years and cites work helping improve students’ performance at Slater Elementary and Malloch Elementary, most recently working to get air conditioning in Fresno Unified school buses.

If elected, Fabela says he will bring back parent/teacher committees, engage parents in the classrooms, and only recruit teachers who have majored in the topic they are teaching.

Andy Levine

Andy Levine was raised in the Fresno High School area and spent his career in education. He was also a director for Faith in the Valley and currently teaches at Fresno State.

If elected, Levine says he will invite parents, teachers and students into the decision-making process to determine how funds are spent. Levine also wants to prioritize counseling and refocus efforts on community schooling.

Daniel Renteria

Daniel Renteria graduated from Fresno High School, and both his son and grandson have since become students at the same school. He has worked for Fresno County for 13 years and then for the State of California.

If elected, Renteria says he will meet every challenge facing students and teachers “with a common-sense approach” and work to support students, parents, and teachers in the classroom.

Election day to fill the Fresno Unified Area 5 vacancy is set for Tuesday, April 12.