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Republicans have won back the 16th Senate District.

Kern County Supervisor and Democrat Leticia Perez has conceded to her opponent, Republican farmer Andy Vidak, ending a costly and heavily contested race for the Central Valley seat.

"The voters have spoken and I want to congratulate Andy on his victory," Perez said in a press release, adding that "Andy has earned the right to represent us in Sacramento."

Perez trailed Vidak by several percentage points as of Tuesday night. The Secretary of State's office estimated on Wednesday morning that thousands of provisional ballots remained to be counted, but Perez said in the press release that "this campaign is over."

The win chips away at Democrats' two-thirds supermajority in the state Senate, reducing it to the minimum. The seat opened up earlier this year when Democratic senator Michael Rubio unexpectedly resigned, citing a desire to spend more time with his family, and took a job with Chevron.

PHOTO: Andy Vidak, in May. Fresno Bee.



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