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
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.