Special Election turnout does in Central Valley Democrat
by Brian Leubitz
Try as the Democrats did, they just could not push Leticia Perez past Andy Vidak. Today, she conceded the race:
Kern County Supervisor and Democrat Leticia Perez has conceded to her opponent, Republican farmer Andy Vidak, ending a costly and heavily contested race for the Central Valley seat.
“The voters have spoken and I want to congratulate Andy on his victory,” Perez said in a press release, adding that “Andy has earned the right to represent us in Sacramento.”(SacBee)
You would expect this to be an opportunity for a heavily contested race when it comes up again in 2014. Vidak will have incumbency, but a strong Democratic candidate might be able to leverage the higher turnout in a general election to flip this seat.
|SD16 Preliminary Results
With all votes counted, race pushed to run-off by narrowest of margins
by Brian Leubitz
Sometimes you realize just how important turnout operations really are. For SD-16, a few additional votes for Andy Vidak would have meant that he would soon take the oath of office. Instead, we’re headed for another low-turnout special election runoff in July: (Vote totals here)
Republican Andy Vidak of Hanford and Democrat Leticia Perez of Bakersfield earned a spot in the runoff as the top vote-getters in the May 21 special election, which was held after Michael Rubio suddenly resigned midterm from his 16th Senate District seat to take a job with oil giant Chevron.
The Senate district up for grabs includes parts of four counties: Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern. Eyewitness News contacted each county elections department Tuesday, and each confirmed that all votes from the May 21 special election have been counted.(Bakersfield Now)
The margin was just about a hundred votes in a 60,000 vote election, that’s pretty close, folks. However, the July special election still presents the same challenges that Perez faced before. Turnout will be abysmal, and the Democratic base tends to fade more than the Republican base in special elections. However, that being said, the margin between Vidak and Perez was still relatively low. Perez will now be the only Democrat on the ballot, but must work even harder on turning out votes.
Not sure what this does to Dan Walters’ thesis though.
UPDATE: Not so fast, Vidak has fallen below 50%. More info here.
Republicans gain seat through 2014
by Brian Leubitz
Andy Vidak has won election to SD-16 by carrying over 50% of the vote in the special election yesterday. That’s the bad news for Democrats this morning.
Tuesday night, Vidak’s supporters gathered at his Hanford-Armona farm and cheered him on as the votes came in from all four counties in Senate District 16. This includes all of Kings County, where Vidak lives, and portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties.
Overall, Vidak received nearly 52 percent of the votes. Leticia Perez had nearly 42 percent. (KSFN)
That means the Senate Democratic majority is now at 27, a bare supermajority, but a supermajority nonetheless. But, about that SD-16. It is a very Democratic district. Very Democratic, but a low turnout Democratic district. Special elections can be tough for a district like this. Vidak had a bit of name recognition, and the low turnout helped him across the line.
Now, as for the district going forward into the 2014 election, the district changes substantially. Vidak will have to introduce himself to a new electorate, an electorate that is still a strong Democratic electorate. And in an election where turnout will be substantially higher than a small special election. So, there is the long-term upside, I suppose.