Leticia Perez makes history as first Latina sworn in as Kern Co. supervisor

Leticia Perez makes history as first Latina sworn in as Kern Co. supervisor »Play Video
Leticia Perez preparing to take the oath of office in a ceremony Wed. evening in the board chambers at the county administration building
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — It was standing room only Wednesday night at the County Administrative Building on Truxtun Avenue as hundreds of people attended the swearing-in ceremony of Leticia Perez, the newly elected 5th District Supervisor.

"It's the greatest honor and greatest privilege of my life," said a beaming Perez.

The 36-year-old former Kern County Public Defender made history as the only Latina ever elected to a county supervisor seat, not just in Kern County, but in the entire Central Valley.

"She's an incredible individual, and she has a lot to offer the community," said Kern County Superior Court Judge Robert Tafoya.

The event was well attended by a broad range of people of different political stripes, as well as a heavy presence from law enforcement and firefighters who supported Perez.

Perez defeated incumbent Karen Goh in the June primary election with enough votes to avoid a run-off election in November.

Born and raised in east Bakersfield, Perez acknowledged her humble beginnings. Her father, Victor, was a farmworker in the Arvin-Lamont area, and her deceased mother, Susan, also came from a poor family.

Susan Perez enlisted in the Army at 18, became a nurse and worked with veterans. Leticia credits her parents for instilling the value of hard work and helping others.

Perez starts her job as county supervisor on Jan. 7.