Leticia Perez endorsed as official party candidate for Senate

{A href=""}BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) After starting off the week with a setback in her bid for the 16th District Senate seat, Leticia Perez was officially endorsed Wednesday to be the Democratic party candidate.

Members of the California Democratic Party endorsement caucus voted to support Perez in the special primary election to be held May 21. The tally was 49 votes for Perez and four votes for Fran Florez. But the votes for Florez were ruled invalid, because Florez dropped out of the race just hours earlier in the day.

"This is an outpouring of support that is directly linked to countless volunteer hours of people who care so much about this district," said Perez after the vote.

Another candidate, businesswoman Paulina Miranda, of Fresno, was present. Miranda addressed the group and spoke of her desire to win the endorsement, saying her priorities are quality of life issues. She received no votes.

After the vote, Miranda addressed the group, saying no one from the endorsement caucus group had notified her of the vote to be held on Wednesday. Miranda said she found out about it late in the afternoon and then canceled her activities to make the two hour trip to attend the meeting held in Bakersfield.

"I just wanted you to know that," Miranda told the group.

As the official candidate of the California Democratic Party, Perez will receive financial help from the party in her effort to replace Michael Rubio, who resigned from the state Senate seat earlier this year.

Perez's main Republican challenger is Hanford farmer Andy Vidak.