Senate District 16 candidates make final push for voter turnout

July 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tuesday, voters will decide who fills the vacant Senate District 16 seat.

Both the Republican and Democrat campaigns are making a big final push for voter turnout.

Action News talked with both Democrat Leticia Perez and Republican Andy Vidak Sunday afternoon. Both say they are banking on an increase in voter turnout compared to the primary election back in May.

Dozens spent Sunday afternoon cheering on State Senate Democratic nominee Leticia Perez. She and her supporters held a rally at the Hinton Community Center. Since May Perez and her supporters have been pushing the campaign

"We know that our hard work is paying off. Tuesday will be a big turnout day for us. We're going to turnout even more voters than we did on May 21, the primary. We're going to bring it home," Perez said.

Republican Andy Vidak says his campaign is still riding the momentum from May's primary election. Vidak won receiving the most votes, but fell short of the 50 percent plus one to win the race outright.

Vidak said voter turnout will improve Tuesday in his favor.

"There's no party lines on common sense. We need a small businessman and farmer in Sacramento," Vidak said.

The Senate District 16 race is being closely watched around the state. Both sides are getting support from top elected officials in Sacramento. Republicans say Vidak, a farmer from Hanford, will help create jobs.

"He has created jobs; he understands that agriculture is what drives the economy in the central valley. And as a farmer he's right at the heart of knowing the needs of the valley and he will represent him well," said Senate Republican leader Bob Huff.

And Democratic leaders say a Perez win will help the party keep a supermajority.

"Look, the super majority, a lot's been made of it. The fact of the matter is, when you look at a third balanced budget in a row. The fact that California is on an upswing I don't think we want to change courses. Let's keep going where we're going," said Senate pro tem Darrell Stienberg.

Senate District 16 covers portions of Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties.

Voter turnout will be a big factor in this election. For May's primary only about 22 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. The polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.


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