Senate District 16 could be headed to runoff

May 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The race to fill the state senate seat in district 16 may not be over. The special election to fill the seat vacated by Michael Rubio took place on Tuesday, with republicans declaring victory. But now the race is likely to go to a runoff.

The results for the state senate's 16th district seat seemed to be all but sealed Tuesday night. Republican Andy Vidak appeared to have won it with nearly 52 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff. The Hanford farmer declared victory the very next day.

Vidak said, "I'm excited to go up there and make a difference."

But that announcement came prematurely as Vidak's lead slipped to 49.8 percent on Friday, as Fresno County finished adding up its absentee and provisional ballots.

If the 50 percent threshold is not broken, Vidak will have to faceoff with democrat Leticia Perez in a runoff election.

"That Tuesday night, I certainly believed the race was over," said Perez. "The numbers seemed overwhelming, seemed too hard to overcome."

Perez conceded the race on election night. But the latest numbers gave her campaign a bounce, and a fighting chance.

"Gave a nice call, a very gracious call to Andy, we never anticipated that we would have such a break our way in the provisional ballots, I mean how exciting to think a really exceptional ground game can produce these kinds of results," said Perez.

And while the Bakersfield democrat is back in the race and campaigning for the time being, she is holding her breath, hoping the numbers hold in her favor.

Perez said, "We're prepared to accept any outcome but we are activated and we are back on the ground just in case we are headed towards a runoff."

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