Ashley Swearengin

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Ashley Swearengin
Ashley Swearengin.jpg
24th Mayor of Fresno
In office
January 6, 2009 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byAlan Autry
Succeeded byLee Brand
Personal details
Ashley Emile Newton

(1972-05-24) May 24, 1972 (age 47)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Paul Swearengin
EducationCalifornia State University,

Ashley Emile Swearengin (née Newton)[1] (born May 24, 1972)[2][3] is an American politician who served as the 24th mayor of Fresno, California. She is Fresno's second female mayor. She was first elected in a run-off election on November 4, 2008 and was re-elected in 2012. Swearengin ran for State Controller in 2014.[4] After leaving the mayor's office, she became the president/CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation.[5]

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[6] and California State University, Fresno.

Swearengin holds a Bachelor of Science (magna cum laude) and a Master of Business Administration (summa cum laude) from California State University, Fresno. Her husband, Paul, and she have two children, Sydney and Samuel.[7]

Early career[edit]

In 2000, she became Director of the Office of Community and Economic Development at California State University, Fresno.

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.[8]

Mayor of Fresno[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.[9] She defeated Henry T. Perea 54%-45%.[10]

In 2012, she won re-election to a second term with 75% of the vote, defeating four other candidates.[11]


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 after being released on parole.[12] 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."[13]

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.[14]

The unemployment level of the city of Fresno was 12.5% in August 2013, having fallen from 17% since Mayor Swearengin came into office.[15] She proposed a plan called "Fresno's First Steps Home," which will battle chronic homelessness in the city.[16]

Other Elections[edit]

In 2014, she ran for the California Controller's office, losing to Democrat Betty Yee, 54-46.[17]


  1. ^ "Free Family Tree, Genealogy and Family History — MyHeritage".
  2. ^ Dillard, Gabriel (May 30, 2012). "Fresno mayor marks highs, lows in 'State of City'". The Business Journal. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  3. ^ Quiring, Suzanna (May 22, 2008). "Alumna fosters mayoral dreams". The Feather. Fresno Christian High School. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  4. ^ "Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin plans bid for state controller". Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  5. ^ Fresno Bee: Swearengin to head community foundation after Fresno mayoral term ends
  6. ^ Ward, Austin. "News article | Auction nets $120k, sells out seats". The Feather. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Swearengen's biography
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns — Fresno Mayor Race — Nov 04, 2008".
  11. ^ "Our Campaigns — Fresno Mayor Race — Jun 05, 2012".
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Fresno, CA Economy at a Glance". Retrieved August 30, 2013.
  16. ^ Harrison, Liz. "Mayor Swearengin: There's light at the end of the tunnel".
  17. ^ "Ashley Swearengin — Ballotpedia".

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alan Autry
Mayor of Fresno
Succeeded by
Lee Brand