published on February 17, 2016 - 2:11 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Dr. Joaquin Arambula, a Democrat from Kingsburg and Fresno City Councilmember Clint Olivier, a Republican — both running for the State Assembly District 31 seat vacated by Henry T. Perea — will take part in a series of candidate forums to be held over the next five weeks.

A special election will be held on April 5 to fill the vacant District 31 seat.

“I am excited to take the stage in these forums and explain my vision for a healthier Valley,” said Arambula. “The differences between my opponent and I could not be clearer. I have spent my career in the Emergency Room taking care of people, and look forward to serving as their representative. I am a doctor, not a politician, and I am running to solve problems – not looking for my next job.”

“I’m very interested in these sort of things,” Olivier countered. “I’d debate my opponent any time, anywhere. I’d do 10 of these (forums) if my opponent agreed to [participate].”

The candidate forums will be hosted by Fresno City College on March 9, The Hospital Council of Northern and Central California on March 11 and The Maddy Institute on March 27.

Olivier also confirmed that he plans to participate in a fourth candidate forum, to be hosted by local television station KSEE24 on March 16. Arambula has yet to say if he will take part in that event.

“My campaign is focused, strong and well established,” Arambula said. “I look forward to working in the legislature to fight for quality healthcare, a healthy water supply, healthy schools and a healthy economy.”

“I think things are going very well for us,” said Olivier. “We’ve got our signs up. We’re walking the neighborhoods, raising money. We’re right where we want to be.”

In terms of fundraising, Olivier trails Arambula by a significant margin. As of the first week of February, Olivier has raised about $14,000 while Arambula has raised $185,000.

“I’ll never be able to match my opponent in terms of the amount of money I can raise,” Olivier said. “But I’ll spend it better.”

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