Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Five candidates qualify for state’s 16th District Senate race

A week of political drama narrowed the candidate field to two
front-runners in the race for the state’s 16th Senate District:
Bakersfield Democrat Leticia Perez and Hanford Republican Andy Vidak.

But they’re not the only ones who will be competing in the May 21
special election.

Democrat Francisco Ramirez Jr., of Riverdale, Democrat Paulina Miranda, of Fresno, and Peace and Freedom Party candidate Mohammad Arif, of Bakersfield, also qualified for the ballot by Friday’s filing deadline, according to election offices in Fresno and Kern counties.

The election is the result of former Sen. Michael Rubio’s resignation
last month. The Bakersfield Democrat took a job with Chevron.

To win his seat, one the five candidates must get 50% of the votes,
plus one, in the May election. If nobody meets that threshold, the top
two vote-getters proceed to a July 23 runoff.

Democrat Fran Florez, of Shafter, dropped out of the race earlier this
week after Perez emerged as the Democratic favorite.

Perez picked up the state party endorsement Wednesday, but only
after she moved to a new home — when Kern County elections officials told her that her old house was not in the district. A week earlier, they had said otherwise.

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