Ashley Swearengin says she's eager to get things going at Fresno City Hall, and looking forward to seeing through what Mayor Alan Autry set out to accomplish.
Preston Phillips: "Big day huh?”
Ashley Swearengin, Fresno Mayor-Elect: “Yes, exciting."
Following her victory over Fresno City Council Member Henry T. Perea, Ashley Swearengin says she's eager to get to work as Fresno’s new mayor.
Swearengin: "I love our city and I don't like the fact that we have been an underdog. Fresno is a city with potential and I want to see that potential become a reality."
Just minutes after she was declared winner of the Fresno mayoral race Tuesday night, Swearengin could be seen taking the stage at the "Downtown Club,” giving her victory speech to hundreds of supporters.
Swearengin: "I think we have perfected the balance of working hard and enjoying ourselves along the way, now it's time to focus on moving the city forward."
Meanwhile, across town at Palomino's, her opponent, Fresno city Council Member Henry T. Perea, surrounded by supporters, told KSEE 24 News he was confident he would be the next to take office.
This is what Perea told our cameras, moments after the absentee ballots had been counted, Swearengin in the lead by 7,000 votes.
Henry T. Perea, Fresno City Council Member: "The numbers aren't going in our direction, but we always knew the absentee vote typically favors the republican candidates. No matter what happens, we feel very good about our campaign and are optimistic."
But moments later, after most of the precincts had reported, it became apparent that Swearengin would in fact be the next mayor of Fresno.
That's when Perea slipped out the back door of Palomino's, declining to address the media or his supporters.
He's still unavailable for comment.
Swearengin: "I have the utmost respect for Henry Perea and I am Anxious to work with him and get some good work done for Fresno together."
Vanessa Armbrister, Voted for Perea: "I'm really disappointed, he seemed like a good man and a good man to run Fresno."
Swearengin says during her first 30 days in office, she'll make some important announcements, then begin focusing on small businesses and issues that continue to plague Fresno, such as gang violence, all while continuing on the path Mayor Alan Autry has paved for the city.
For Preston Phillips’ full story, click on the video link above.