Bakersfield Democrat Leticia Perez, a Kern County Supervisor, learned this week that she will have to find a new home by Friday in order to run in the May special election for the seat Rubio gave up to take a job with Chevron Corp. earlier this year.
Perez apparently faces the same residency issue Rubio, her former boss, experienced when he first ran for the state Senate in 2010: her home is in a part of Bakersfield that election officials mistakenly included in the 16th Senate District for years
Rubio moved during his campaign and later had to short sell his original home. That sale, along with his later purchase of an El Dorado Hills house, involved an oil executive who gave to his campaign. Both transactions are the subject of a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission, which has yet to decide whether to open a formal investigation.
Perez, who has been endorsed by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, had initially been told she could stay put, but that changed this week.
The Fresno Bee's Kurtis Alexander reports:
Kern County Clerk Mary Bedard said her office consulted with the Secretary of State's Office on Monday and determined that Perez's central Bakersfield home did not qualify as a valid residence in the district, despite what the office had announced last week.
The area where Perez lives was mistakenly included in the district in 2001 and the error was never corrected on voting rolls. That prompted elections officials to initially conclude that the area should remain in the district for the upcoming Senate race.
Now, though, officials are saying otherwise.
"We do need to abide by the lines that the Legislature drew in 2001," Bedard said.
Perez's competition for the seat includes fellow Democrat Fran Florez and Hanford Republican Andy Vidak.
The full Fresno Bee story is available here.