Mike Karbassi wins majority by wide margin in special election


Mail-in votes can still be counted until Friday, but thousands would be needed to cause a runoff

FRESNO, California — The city of Fresno appears to have a new council member. Mike Karbassi won nearly 59% of the vote in Tuesday’s special election, essentially securing his seat for District 2.

Karbassi centered his campaign on being accessible, which may have been his winning ticket.

With the voters we ran into at the polls, several mentioned voting for a candidate who took time to walk their neighborhoods.

“He asked me a lot of good questions about how to fix a neighborhood, it’s kind of nice someone asks about that because he was definitely concerned,” said voter Kurt Fondse.

Ever since Karbassi announced his candidacy, he said he’s visited every single neighborhood in the district — to make sure he knows what problems he would need to fix.

“Everyone has my cell phone number, they can get a hold of me. If there’s a pothole, a streelight, god forbid a public safety issue; I’m the person they’re going to call,” Karbassi said. “I think that really translated into really good results.”

When results started coming in just after 8 p.m., Karbassi’s numbers never fell below 58% of the vote.

He said he’s ready to hit the ground running, particularly on public safety and homelessness.

“I want to work with the experts, do things that are proactive to actually reduce the number of unsheltered homeless. We’re seeing it all over northwest Fresno,” said Karbassi.

Mail-in votes can still be counted until Friday, though, a couple thousand would be needed to cause a runoff.

Brandi Orth’s office has 30 days to certify the election. After that happens, he can be sworn in.

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