Senate candidates get lively, personal in Bakersfield debate

{A href=""}BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The five candidates running to replace Michael Rubio for the 16th state Senate district seat squared off in a debate Tuesday evening.

The five are Mohammed Arif, Pauline MIranda, Leticia Perez, Francisco Ramirez Jr. and Andy Vidak.

On the issue of high-speed rail, Vidak was the only one who opposed the project. He criticized HSR as being overly costly and a financial burden to the state.

Perez said she is in favor of raising the minimum wage to $9.25 an hour, and said she would not raise taxes, but rather leave it up to a vote of the people.

Vidak criticized Perez for accepting $300,000 from Sacramento, which he called "elite interests." Perez shot back that he, too, accepted generous donations when he ran unsuccessfully for Congress against incumbent Jim Costa.