Petitions to Recall State Senator Jeff Denham

Simon Salinas is a former democratic assemblyman who beat Senator Denham in the 2000 assembly race. Now the two men are preparing for a re-match under very different circumstances.

Monterey County Supervisor Simon Salinas says he kept a close eye on the calendar and other possible contenders as he considered challenging State Senator Jeff Denham in the recall election.

Salinas: "I tried to wait to see if anyone else was interested so we could all come together and it was crunch time, last Friday nobody had indicated they were interested."

When the clock struck five on Saturday evening Salinas stood as the sole candidate to file papers in time for the recall race.

Denham: "This has clearly always been Don Perata's plan to try to recall me from his office in Oakland. So he circled around many different candidates in my district who all told him no but eventually on filing deadline he found somebody."

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata launched the recall effort last summer after Denham refused to vote for the budget. Denham calls the campaign an attempt to control his vote and says he was only doing what was best for his district.

Denham: "I'm raising money right now to contact voters and let them know why I stood strong on last year's budget and why I'm fighting to have a budget this year that doesn't increase taxes but gets rid of a lot of the wasteful spending."

But Salinas says the fact that 60 thousand people signed recall petitions proves some voters are unhappy with Denham's performance.

Salinas: "I will do what I can to get my message out and to help folks realize they do have a choice here, and I'd like them to consider me seriously."

Atwater Mayor Pro-Tem Lesa Rasumussen also pulled paperwork to run for Denham's seat, but decided not to file on Saturday. Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse was also mentioned as a possible candidate, but he also declined.

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