Local Politics

Friday, Mar 29 2013 05:56 PM

Five qualify for state Senate race

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The field of candidates for the 16th Senate District special election firmed up Friday as the candidate filing deadline passed.

At the top of the race, in both support and cash, are the two candidates supported by the Democratic and Republican party leadership in Sacramento.

Republican Hanford farmer Andy Vidak has completed his paperwork to become a candidate, Kings County Elections Department officials confirmed Friday.

Vidak is backed by the Republican Party and has already raised $121,600, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Secretary of State's office.

Democrat Leticia Perez, a Kern County supervisor, has been certified as well by the Kern County Elections Division and had $29,700 in her campaign account as of Friday afternoon.

She has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party.

Joining those candidates in the race are a couple of less well-known candidates.

Self-described immigration rights activist Mohammad "O" Arif of Bakersfield, a candidate from the Peace and Freedom Party, was certified as a candidate.

And Paulina Miranda, a Democratic businesswoman, was certified in Fresno County, Fresno County Elections staff reported.

Reports from the Fresno County Elections indicate that another candidate, Francisco Ramirez, has also certified to run. He is identified as a Democratic business consultant.

Arif, Miranda and Ramirez have not filed campaign finance reports with the California Secretary of State's office showing whether they have raised any funds.

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