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Fueled by Trump's controversy, Democrats campaign in Bakersfield

Emilio Huerta, center, campaigns alongside Kamala Harris, right, with support from his mother Dolores Huerta, left, Monday night, Oct. 10, 2016, in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo/Tom Murphy)

Senate candidate Kamala Harris was in Bakersfield on Monday for a rally with congressional candidate Emilio Huerta.

The stop comes in the wake of a fiery presidential debate, less than a month from election day.

Harris, currently the California Attorney General, would be the first woman of color to be elected as a senator from California.

Of course, that would be the same for Loretta Sanchez, the orange County congresswoman running against her. Both are democrats.

At the rally on Monday, Harris spoke on her background as a prosecutor and how it shapes her vision for immigration reform.

"I have personally prosecuted low-level offenses to homicides. I have seen some of the worst of crime, I've seen some of the worst of criminal behavior and an undocumented immigrant is not a criminal and we have to correct course on that conversation in this country," she told the crowd.

Harris was also there to endorse Huerta, the son of labor rights icon, Dolores Huerta.

He is up against Republican incumbent, David Valadao in the 21st district.

The predominantly Latino district, which on paper leans Democratic, has received national attention as a house seat that could flip from red to blue.

Though, not easily. Huerta has been dramatically out-fundraised by his rival.

So he says, instead of lots of TV ads, he's been ramping up his ground game.

"You know I'm out there a lot, walking in the different communities and campaigning every day. You can see more energy, even in towns where I didn't believe I had any base of support. So we're really surprised to see that amount of enthusiasm in those communities," said Huerta.

The presidential election has colored the rhetoric of the down-ballot candidates.

Criticizing Trump's behavior has been a talking point for Democrats on the campaign trail, especially following the leaked audio of Trump making lewd comments about women and the explosive debate with Hillary Clinton,

It's also caused mayhem in his own party.

On Monday, Seaker of the House, Paul Ryan told fellow lawmakers would no longer campaign for Trump.

At the Kern County Republican Party board meeting Monday night, that change in tenor from the highest ranking Republican lawmaker was not taken lightly. One member suggested a resolution to condemn Ryan for backing down.

But the party's president, Dean Haddock dismissed the idea. He acknowledged Ryan's hesitation, but reaffirmed the Kern County Republican Party’s support for Trump and all Republican candidates.

"Nobody wants to support bad behavior, that's the bottom line. He has bad behavior. With one caveat, if they learned from their mistakes, then their behavior changes, " said Haddock, adding he believes Trump has learned from his mistakes.

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