Ashley Swearengin

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Ashley Swearengin
24th Mayor of Fresno
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 6, 2009
Preceded by Alan Autry
Personal details
Born Ashley Emile Newton[1]
(1972-05-24) May 24, 1972 (age 42)
Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Paul Swearengin
Profession Business administrator

Ashley Emile Swearengin (née Newton) (born May 24, 1972)[2][3] is the Mayor of Fresno, California and is Fresno's second female mayor. She was elected in a run-off election on November 4, 2008. On March 5, 2014, Swearengin announced her candidacy for State Controller.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Swearengin was born in Texas and raised in Arkansas. Her family moved to Fresno in 1987. She graduated from Fresno Christian High School[5] and California State University, Fresno. She has Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees.[6]

Early political career[edit]

In 2000, she was nominated to become Director of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State University.

In 2002, she co-founded the Regional Jobs Initiative (RJI), an industry-focused effort aimed at helping the unemployment in Fresno County. She served as the Chief Operations Officer.

In 2005, she became lead executive for the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, a group formed by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Today, she serves as the deputy chair of the Partnership’s board of directors.[7]

Mayor of Fresno[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 2008, she ran for Mayor of Fresno, California. Swearengin campaigned on the four "priority issues" of Jobs and Education; Safe, Quality Neighborhoods; Effective and Responsive Government; and Regional Leadership.[8] She defeated Henry T. Perea 54%-45%.[9]

In 2012, she won re-election to a second term with 75% of the vote, defeating four other candidates.[10]

Tenure[edit]

In her first week in office, she and Police Chief Jerry Dyer introduced Operation Monitor: designed to allow GPS tracking devices on registered sex offenders even after they're released from parole.[11] She inherited a difficult budget shortfall. She stated "I don't think anybody thought that within an 11 month window we'd have to close a $55 million dollar budget shortfall. When I started this job the general fund was $255 million dollars. So a $55 million dollar hole is significant for an organization of our size."[12]

In March 2012, Ashley Swearengin announced that the City was facing a fiscal emergency because of the state's continued economic troubles combined with high cost contracts for certain segments of the city's labor force. A USA Today listed Fresno among 10 cities that could follow Stockton and Vallejo into Chapter 9 bankruptcy.[13]

The unemployment level of the city of Fresno is 12.5%, and has fallen since Mayor Swearengin came into office.[14] She proposed a plan called "Fresno's First Steps Home," which will battle chronic homelessness in the city.[15]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Mayor's Office [2]
  • Official Campaign Site [3]
Political offices
Preceded by
Alan Autry
24th Mayor of Fresno, California
January 6, 2009 – Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent