Local News

Tuesday, Mar 26 2013 10:34 AM

'First Look': 16th Senate race remains hot topic

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The race for the 16th Senate District seat continued to be a hot topic Tuesday on "First Look with Scott Cox," a day after candidate Leticia Perez learned she doesn't live within district boundaries after all.

The Democrat has until 5 p.m. Friday to secure a new residence in the district to allow her to run, and said she will.

Tuesday morning, veteran Californian reporter James Burger noted that Perez did inquire about whether she lived in the district before she sought the seat, and was told she did.

But on Monday elections officials notified her she didn't.

"She does not meet the constitutional requirement of residence in the district," Kern County Election Chief Karen Rhea told Burger Monday night. The elections office now has to use the boundaries that were legally approved by the Legislature in 2001.

Richard Beene, president and CEO of The Californian, asked Burger what he's hearing from voters.

Burger said he's heard both frustration, expressed in the sentiment that Perez has only been a Kern County supervisor for a few months and is already trying to move to a higher office, while others say that's just what happens in politics.

Beene said some voters seem to be gravitating toward a vote for Perez because she's younger than contender Shafter City Councilwoman Fran Florez, a fellow Democrat. Both face Republican farmer Andy Vidak of Hanford.

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