LWV League of Women Voters of California
Fresno County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Daniel K. Whitehurst

Candidate for
Mayor; City of Fresno

This information is provided by the candidate


Dan Whitehurst is one of the most qualified people ever to seek the office of Mayor of Fresno. He held the position from 1977 to 1985 and was a City Councilmember from 1975 to 1977. During his time as Mayor he was recognized by the California Jaycees as one of 5 Outstanding Young Californians, and received an award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Xerox Corporation as the outstanding mayor in the country in the area of public-private partnerships.


  • Initiated the annual State of the City message
  • Reduced the number of City boards and commissions from 34 to 9, and opened up the process so that citizens could apply to serve
  • Held regular open houses at City Hall so people could bring their concerns to the Mayor in a one-on-one setting
  • Led the annexation of over 100 'County islands' in order to make city boundaries more logical and efficient
  • Represented the City before the State Transportation Commission and obtained funding for Freeway 41
  • Chaired dozens of public hearings leading up to the approval of the city's community plans and the 1984 General Plan, which was ratified by the County and City of Clovis, as well as the Farm Bureau, Building Industry Association, Chamber of Commerce and neighborhood organizations
  • Led the effort to construct a new convention hotel (the Centre Plaza) and conference center when the old Del Webb Town House closed
  • Opposed the expansion of Selland Arena, but when it was ultimately approved and funded by the council, guided the process to assure rapid processing and construction
  • Presided over the City's orderly and peaceful implementation of Proposition 13. During his time in office, the city population grew from 190,000 to 280,000, while the number of city employees was reduced from 2800 to 2600
  • Oversaw the construction of major public works projects such as the Ashlan Avenue overpass at Highway 99 and the Herndon Avenue overpass of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line

As a City Councilman, Dan participated in:

  • Adoption of the Urban Growth Management Policy, a groundbreaking policy which shifted the costs of fringe area infrastructure from taxpayers to developers
  • The widely recognized Tri-Way funding process in which City, County and United Way adopted one unified process for funding of social service agencies


Dan Whitehurst was born in Los Banos in 1948, the son of William Whitehurst and Tarie James Whitehurst, and spent his first ten years in Dos Palos. His family moved to Fresno in the late 50's and he graduated from St. Therese School (1961) and San Joaquin Memorial High School (1965). In college, he was the editor of the student newspaper in his junior year and the student body president in his senior year. He worked as an intern in the Washington, DC office of U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel in 1968. He also spent a semester at sea with the Seven Seas Division of Chapman College. He married Kathleen McCann in 1969 and they have two children, Keenan, 24, of Malaga, Spain and Jamie Whitehurst Wente, 22, of Davis, California. His sister, Jane Whitehurst is a local artist and designer.


  • B.A., Government Saint Mary's College of California 1969 J.D., Law University of California, Hastings College of the Law 1972
  • M.A., Urban Studies Occidental College 1973 Coro Foundation Fellow in Public Affairs, San Francisco 1972-73
  • Resident Fellow of the Institute of Politics, Harvard University 1985
  • British-American Fellow, Johns Hopkins University 1985


  • 1995-present Founder Farewell Funeral Service
  • 1997-present Commentator KJWL 99.3 FM
  • 1985-present Of Counsel Dowling, Aaron & Keeler
  • 1999-present Director California State Automobile Association
  • 1987-93 President Whitehurst California, Inc.
  • 1985-87 President Fresno Economic Development Corporation
  • 1975-87 Vice-President Stephens & Bean Funeral Service, Inc.
  • 1973-75 Attorney Baker, Manock & Jensen


  • 1997-99 Chairman, Great Valley Center
  • 1993-94 Chairman, Fresno Metropolitan Projects Authority (Arts to Zoo Commission)
  • 1986-present Chairman, California Healthy Cities Steering Committee
  • 1986-87 Program Evaluator, Ford Foundation Innovations in Government Program
  • 1985-88 Executive Session on Community Policing, Harvard University
  • Also served on various advisory committees for: Fresno State, Regional Medical Center, Central California Futures Institute, Boys and Girls Clubs, Fresno County Association for a UC Campus, Fresno Unified School District, Citizens for Community Enrichment (Arts to Zoo), Downtown Task Force (ULI Study)
  • 1977-85 Mayor of Fresno
  • 1975-77 Fresno City Council
  • Youngest Mayor of a major city in the U.S.; Board Member, National League of Cities; Chair, Public Safety Committee, U.S. Conference of Mayors; President, Mayors and Councilmembers Department, League of California Cities

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