CLOVIS, California (KSEE) – Vong Mouanouatoua and Herman Nagra are two of the five candidates running for Clovis City Council in the current election cycle. Mouanouatoua is also one of two incumbents in this race.
Mouanoutoua enjoys broad support from local unions and other local officials. He’s running on a platform of experience and helping Clovis businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They trust what we’ve done,” Mouanoutoua said. “And trust is important.”
Challenger Herman Nagra says his perspective as a business owner is what Clovis needs right now.
“As a business owner I have experience in cost saving strategies, negotiating contracts and bids, and getting things done,” Nagra said.
But the campaign for Nagra has been controversial: at the end of January, he was caught on camera taking one of Vong Mouanoutoua’s campaign signs and subsequently arrested. The sign had been placed at the Saddleback Village shopping center on Clovis Avenue and 3rd Street. Nagra claims nearby businesses said the sign shouldn’t have been there.
“I did approach these businesses and I asked them ‘does this person have permission to have these signs here?’ and when they said no, I removed them,” Nagra said.
Jeff Davis owns Saddleback Village. Davis says he was never approached by Nagra and did not give Mouanoutoua permission to put his large campaign sign there to begin with. He said he was unware Mouanoutoua had placed a sign in front of his shopping center, and that Nagra then took it until the incident was covered by local media.
“I found out about it when I was actually watching the news,” Davis said.
Mouanoutoua says he got permission from Saddleback’s property management company, KSEE24 reached out to that company for comment and didn’t hear back.
“I would never put a sign where I did not get any official permission from a landowner,” Mouanoutoua said.
Davis has since given Mouanoutoua permission to put up small campaign signs on his property where the big sign once stood – before it was taken by Herman Nagra. Davis maintains he was unhappy he was not approached by either candidate in the first place.
“That I wasn’t happy about. My concern is the aesthetics, tenants sometimes complain,” Davis said. “I just think it was really really bizarre that anybody would come along and steal the signs of other candidates, especially in the middle of the night.”
Davis adds that he will likely support Mouanoutoua, despite the sign misunderstanding.
The municipal election in Clovis is March 2.