Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Leticia Perez, with an assist, goes big on TV in SD16 race

It seems like an understatement to say that 16th Senate District candidate Leticia Perez is going big on television. She’s already spent almost $600,000 on commercials in the Fresno and Bakersfield television markets.

That’s a ton of money — and a ton of commercials — for what is widely predicted to be a low-turnout special election on May 21. There’s five candidates, but Perez, a Bakersfield Democrat, and Andy Vidak, a Hanford Republican, are widely considered to be the two front runners.

Leticia Perez

It’s also more than twice as much as Vidak, who so far has spent a little more than $240,000 on television.

Even bigger for Perez is $90,000 in additional television airtime courtesy of a group called Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy.

The biggest contributor to this independent expenditure committee? That would be the Chevron Corp., which on April 16 gave $100,000 to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy.

Chevron is the employer of Michael Rubio, who held the 16th District seat until February, when he surprised everyone by resigning, a decision that has led to this special election. Perez used to work for Rubio.

Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy is obviously a well connected organization. Besides Chevron, it has also received contributions from Sempra Energy, AMGEN USA and Oracle America.

Andy Vidak

Earlier this year, Anheuser Busch and Wal-Mart, among others, gave to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, which supported Democrat Norma Torres in another state Senate special election.

Torres and Republican Paul Leon are in a May 14 runoff for the Inland Empire seat.

But none of the contributions approached Chevron’s.

That assist aside, Perez’s campaign is spending almost $400,000 in the Fresno market — where she is largely unknown — and a little more than $200,000 in Kern County, where she won a seat on the board of supervisors last November.
Perez is also spending a lot of money on Spanish-speaking media — almost $180,000 in total.

By comparison, Vidak is spending around $160,000 in the Fresno market and a little more than $80,000 in Bakersfield. And of his total, a little more than $100,000 is going to Spanish-speaking stations in the two markets.


adam says:

Isn’t it pretty normal for candidates to have to spend more in areas and regions which don’t typically fall to their side of the political spectrum?

I would think that a Republican running in a very blue region would outspend a Democratic opponent, no?

Frank says:

This does not make any sense for some one running for senate and teach spanish children how write n speak English! Why!

TruthandTheAmericanWay says:

Another Rubio in the making – elected to the supervisor position and resigns almost immediately, then what happens if a congressional seat open, just saying, do we resign and run for that office. In addition, her background is government and little or no private or industry leadership expertise, thus you will be stacking another individual in office that has to follow the Florez / Brown / Stienberg course. She will not be allowed to act according to her statement, which if you check them, they are party line couple with a bunch of “feel good junk” in a state that is broke!!!

Duncan MacLeod says:

Remember. All of this big corporate, and big energy, money is being spent on a candidate representing the allged “people’s party”. Like her predecessor before her (both in the Kern County Board of Supervisors and…likely in the State Senate). The candidate for the poor and downtrodden is in the pocket of big business.

The manner in which both she and Rubio bailed on their constituents right after being elected, he to take a plush job as a lobbyist and she to move up the political ladder, is just shameful. I liked and respected Michael Rubio as a Kern County Supervisor, before whom I appeared in regard to a myriad of issues, but he blew all of that good will out the window in an instant.

The Fair Political Practices Commission has found that Rubio didn’t break any laws in his dealings with donor and benefactor San Joaquin Refining Co. President Majid Mojibi. But there’s a fine line between being legal and being ethical. IMHO, Rubio more than crossed that line.

Erik says:

Mrs. Perez. I have the most respect for you as a person and beyond that running as a strong Latina woman who stands by her beliefs and convections . My father was born in South America. His family waited and worked their way to this country! It took years upon years for my father and my family to become US citizens! So my question to you as an educated American and person seeking public office in this wonderful central valley that we both call home. . Why? Minimum wage? Why not stand behind those of us who are already here? You are campaign on a immigration bill that’s not here! Give people a reason to vote for you beyond being liberal and being in the left coast majority! Your state. Our state! Deserves our best! Please don’t fall victim to our state politics! Thank you for letting me vent! I might not agree with your political views, but I have most respect for you as a person and a candidate. Thank you for hearing me out! God bless! Please respond:)

Mariana says:

Balance this story out by telling me who contributed to Andy Vidak’s campaign.

Bill Guerrero says:

Mrs.Perez is another opportunist ,I dont blame her for wanting to make money and have a career. But I want to know what she is going to do about corporate America outright disregard for thr safety of Mexican Workers .What she is going to do about unarmed Mexican American males being killed by law enforcement officers in her own district, and what is her plan to lower the dropout rate with Mexican Americans youth which is at 60 .

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