State Senate hopeful Leticia Perez today signed a lease on a rental home that secures her residency in the 16th Senate district –- where former Sen. Michael Rubio’s seat is up for grabs.
The Bakersfield Democrat wasted no time in making the move after she was notified Monday evening by elections officials that her old house would disqualify her from running. Friday is the deadline for candidates, who must live in the district, to file.
Monday’s notice from the elections office was unexpected. Elections officials advised Perez just a week earlier that she would qualify as a candidate because of a technicality in local elections procedure.
The change of heart is just the latest in a rapidly-developing and tightly-scheduled Senate race. Rubio’s unexpected resignation last month set the stage for a still undecided field to replace him in a quickly approaching May 21 special election.
Democrat Fran Florez, a Shafter City Council member, and Republican Andy Vidak, of Hanford, are also in the running for Rubio’s seat.
Perez’s old home on Alta Vista Drive in Bakersfield had been mistakenly included in the Senate district since it was drawn in 2001. That led the Kern County elections office to initially believe that her home would remain in the district for the special election.
Elections officials, after consulting with the Secretary of State’s Office, changed their minds, however.
Perez’s new rental, a single-family home, is on 18th Street. It’s squarely in the 16th Senate District as well as in the supervisorial district she currently represents as a Kern County supervisor, according to her campaign manager Trent Hager.
“Her family is going to start moving there immediately,” Hager said.