Salas likely winner in race for 32nd Assembly seat

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Rudy Salas is apparently the winner in the closely watched race for the 32nd Assembly District seat.

Salas extended his lead over Rios, as the Kern County Elections Department updated its vote count of mail-in ballots. As of Monday afternoon, Salas extended his lead over Rios by 2,503 votes district wide. Previously, the difference was just a mere 268 votes.

Percentage wise, Salas now holds a 51.9 percent of the vote to 48.1 percent for Rios, a difference of 3.8 percent as of Monday afternoon.

There are still some 6,200 votes left to count, with the vast majority of those in Kern County. Salas is dominating the race in Kern County
with 60 percent of the vote.

This was one of the most closely watched and controversial races in Kern County. Rios came under fire for not disclosing that he had come to this country as an undocumented immigrant. Rios said an uncle smuggled him across the border when he was 9 years old.

Rios went on to eventually become a U.S. citizen. But his opposition to the DREAM Act drew criticism from Hispanic activists who said Rios was now rejecting a pathway to citizenship for other undocumented youth. The DREAM Act is proposed federal legislation that would provide a pathway to legal residency for undocumented young people.

Salas issued the following statement Monday afternoon: "It is a privilege and honor to serve the residents of the 32nd Assembly District to move California Forward. I am eager to work on bringing more jobs, better schools, safer neighborhoods and helping Sacramento balance its budget. I want to personally thank each of my campaign volunteers who dedicated so many hours to help get the campaign message out. They knew this campaign was always about families and making a positive difference in our community. Most of all, I would like to thank the voters of this district, and I look forward to working with them to strengthen our communities."