SACRAMENTO — The Democratic candidate for a hotly contested state Senate seat in the San Joaquin Valley has conceded, even with nearly 9,500 ballots remaining to be counted.
Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez issued a statement Wednesday congratulating Republican Andy Vidak, a day after the special election runoff.
Preliminary returns in the 16th Senate District race show Vidak, a cherry farmer, with 54 percent to Perez’s 46 percent. The candidates are separated by about 5,800 votes. The district spans Kings, Fresno, Kern and Tulare counties.
To overtake Vidak, Perez would need to win roughly 80 percent of the outstanding ballots, which are expected to be tallied by Friday.
The Central Valley race was one of two special legislative elections Tuesday.
The other was a primary for the 52nd Assembly District in Southern California, where seven Democrats, one Republican and an independent were competing for the seat that opened when Democrat Norma Torres won a state Senate seat.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, no candidate in the Assembly race was close to garnering more than 50 percent of the vote, the threshold needed for outright victory.