Hur­tado ousts in­cum­bent Vi­dak in 14th state Se­nate race

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Demo­cratic chal­lenger Melissa Hur­tado held on to win a tight, back and forth race with Repub­li­can in­cum­bent Andy Vi­dak for a state Se­nate seat on a night when the GOP oth­er­wise won by com­fort­able mar­gins in lo­cal races for state and con­gres­sional seats.

In the 14th Cal­i­for­nia Se­nate District race, Hur­tado, a mem­ber of the Sanger City Coun­cil, cap­tured 52.1 per­cent of the vote to pull off what most pun­dits would con­sider an up­set. Vi­dak fin­ished with 47.9 per­cent.

Vi­dak first won the of­fice in a 2013 spe­cial elec­tion fol­low­ing Demo­crat Michael J. Ru­bio’s mid-term res­ig­na­tion in Fe­bru­ary of that year. The district cov­ers por­tions of Fresno, Kings, Tu­lare and Kern coun­ties, in­clud­ing the cities of Arvin, De­lano, Mcfar­land, Shafter, Wasco and a sub­stan­tial por­tion of Bak­ers­field.

VAL­ADAO DE­FEATS COX In­cum­bent David Val­adao, R-hanford, beat Demo­cratic chal­lenger TJ Cox in the race for the 21st Con­gres­sional District seat.

The three-term con­gress­man and dairy­man had 53.7 per­cent of the vote, while Cox, an en­gi­neer and small busi­ness­man from Fresno, had 46.3 per­cent.

In the June pri­mary, Val­adao beat Cox by a nearly 28-point mar­gin in a district where Democrats en­joy a 16-point reg­is­tra­tion ad­van­tage.

Val­adao has rep­re­sented the district since 2013 and serves on the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee. The district in­cor­po­rates parts of Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tu­lare coun­ties.

FONG DOM­I­NATES Vince Fong, Repub­li­can in­cum­bent in the 34th District As­sem­bly race, de­feated Demo­cratic chal­lenger Nick Nicita, an au­dio en­gi­neer and bowl­ing al­ley worker.

Fong re­ceived 73 per­cent of the vote to Nicita’s 27 per­cent.

Fong was first elected to the seat in 2016 after spend­ing his po­lit­i­cal work­ing for U.S. Rep. Kevin Mc­carthy and for­mer Con­gress­man Bill Thomas, both Bak­ers­field Repub­li­cans.

Lo­cated en­tirely within Kern County, the district ex­tends from the Taft area to the Mo­jave Desert.

GROVE DE­FEATS MUSSER-LOPEZ

For­mer Assem­bly­woman Shan­non Grove, R-bak­ers­field, won hand­ily over Demo­cratic chal­lenger Ruth Musser­lopez in the race for the state's 16th Se­nate District.

Grove, A U.S. Army vet­eran and co-owner of a lo­cal em­ploy­ment agency, ended up with 66.9 per­cent of the vote. Musser-lopez, a Nee­dles res­i­dent and owner of an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal con­sult­ing firm, re­ceived 33.1 per­cent.

Grove termed out of the As­sem­bly in 2016 after be­ing re-elected twice. The 16th Se­nate District seat — the state's largest by ge­o­graph­i­cal size — is be­ing va­cated by termed-out Repub­li­can Jean Fuller of Bak­ers­field. It cov­ers the south­east­ern San Joaquin Val­ley and a huge swath of the Mo­jave Desert and in­cludes the cities of Ridge­crest, Taft, Te­hachapi, Barstow, Tu­lare, Visalia and a sub­stan­tial por­tion of Bak­ers­field.

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