Central Valley legislative race draws big money

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Associated Press

Posted on July 21, 2013 at 11:04 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A special election for a state legislative seat in the middle of summer would typically draw low interest and low turnout.

But the race between a cherry farmer and a county supervisor in the southern San Joaquin Valley has become as hot as the sweltering farm fields the two are competing to represent.

The runoff for the 16th Senate District has attracted millions of dollars in outside spending and a major push by both parties. Party officials say the race between Republican Andy Vidak and Democrat Leticia Perez is neck-and-neck heading into Tuesday's special election.

The seat is one of the critical posts Democrats want to retain to lock in their supermajority status in the state Senate for the rest of the decade, and Republicans want to block that.

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