Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Outside money rolls in for Fresno-Bakersfield Senate runoff

Republican state Senate candidate Andy Vidak got a $161,500 boost to his campaign last week from the California Association of Realtors.

And it comes at just the right time.

Both Vidak, of Hanford, and his Democratic opponent Leticia Perez have been slow to raise funds since they both advanced in the May 21 primary for the Fresno-Bakersfield area 16th Senate District. This week voters begin casting mail ballots for the July 23 runoff.

The California Association of Realtors, a trade group, recorded the $161,500 expense Friday as an independent expenditure, meaning the money won’t go directly to Vidak but will be spent on radio, television and online advertising on his behalf.

Perez, of Bakersfield, got a welcome influx of support last week, too: a $92,141 independent expenditure from Californians for Good Schools & Good Jobs.

According to the latest campaign finance report, Vidak had $83,000 in his campaign coffers as of June 8. He’s raised more than a million dollars for the special election. Perez had $61,000, also having raised more than a million dollars.

The two are vying to replace former Democratic Sen. Michael Rubio, who resigned in February.

Vidak nearly won the seat outright in last month’s primary, coming up just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

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