The race is on in Fresno to fill Rubio's senate seat

April 13, 2013 12:28:39 AM PDT
Two candidates vying for the state senate seat which was abruptly vacated by Michael Rubio brought their campaigns to Fresno Friday.

Leticia Perez and Francisco Ramirez are both democrats, but with very different campaign styles.

A big crowd of local dignitaries and elected officials came out to endorse Leticia Perez for state senate.

Henry Perea, Assembly member (D) said, "I am pleased to be here to support Leticia because I need a partner in the Senate."

Perez is from Bakersfield. She was just elected as a Kern County Supervisor. But she is a former assistant to Michael Rubio, who suddenly gave up the senate seat to work for an oil company. Perez held this news conference at an irrigation canal, to symbolize her support for valley water issues.

Perez said, "We cannot do it without water, we must improve our allocation we must support our growers in their attempts to continue to invest in the valley and provide jobs and stability in the valley."

Just a few blocks away, Francisco Ramirez a business consultant who lives in Riverdale, was taking his campaign door to door and apparently won the vote of Tony Ray Pippins.

Ramirez, who's relying on personal contact and a Facebook account, believes he can overcome the high level support Perez is receiving.

"We can see all the endorsements Leticia Perez is getting, but the fact of the matter is the people are speaking and they are speaking loud," Ramirez said. "I stand on smaller government; I stand on helping the people of this community. That's why I'm out here walking the district."

There are five candidates in this race. Along with Perez and Ramirez another Democrat Paulina Miranda of Fresno is running.

Mohammad O Arif, of Bakersfield, is running as a member of the Peace and Freedom Party. The only Republican in the Race is Andy Vidak, a farmer from Hanford, who made an unsuccessful bid for congress in the last election.

The 16th senate district stretches from Bakersfield to Fresno and has a heavy Democratic Party majority. Voters will pick from the five in a special May election. If none of the candidates wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff between the top two vote-getters will be held in July.


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