Shafter City Council Member Fran Florez dropped out of the 16th Senate District race Wednesday, just two days before final candidacy papers were due.
She said she was frustrated that the state party was going to endorse in the primary and not allow local Democrats to contest for the seat independently.
But, she said, she couldn’t stay in the race knowing it might compromise Democrats’ chances to hold the seat.
Florez’s son, Dean, once held the seat. More recently, Michael Rubio unexpectedly resigned, prompting a May 21 special election to fill the seat.
The only other prominent Democrat in the race is Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, who announced Tuesday that she had solved her residency issue by renting a house in the district.
On the Republican side, Hanford’s Andy Vidak is the lone clear candidate.
The list of people who have at least pulled campaign papers includes John Estrada, Francisco Ramirez Jr., Jerry Armendariz and Arif Mohammad. Friday is the filing deadline.
Update: Late Wednesday, Perez’s campaign announced that it had received the endorsement of the California Democratic Party’s Central Valley Regional Caucus in a unanimous vote.