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Dramatic turn in special election as Vidak falls below 50 percent of vote

Dramatic turn in special election as Vidak falls below 50 percent of vote
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. --- In a dramatic development, Republican Andy Vidak of Hanford had fallen below the 50 percent threshold in the race for state senator of the 16th district Friday afternoon. A special election was held May 21.

This means Vidak would not be the clear cut winner in the race as had previously been reported. There were five candidates in the race, and a candidate needed to get at least 50 percent plus one vote to win the race.

The latest update by the Secretary of State shows Vidak's numbers on election night went from 51.9% to 49.8%. Conversely, Democratic candidate Leticia Perez gained votes from 41.7% to 43.8%. Three other candidates registered very low results.

The 16th state senate district takes in four counties, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern. Counting is not yet complete in all counties. In Kern County, the Registrar's Office said it will resume counting on Tuesday, May 28 and then certify election results on the 31st.

Democratic candidate Leticia Perez issued a statement Friday saying that based on the new numbers, she and Vidak will face each other in a runoff on July 23.

But the final determination will be made next week by the Secretary of State.
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