Leticia Perez said she’s definitely a “Valleycrat” and will do what the constituents of the district want and need, not what the Democratic party says needs to be done.
That was the message as the 16th District Senate candidate came on First Look with Scott Cox with Bakersfield Californian Editorial Page Robert Price Monday morning to discuss Tuesday’s election.
Perez declined to be interviewed by Cox, who has criticized her running for Senate after her recent election to the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Cox has also chided Perez on-air for cancelling her appearance on his show the day after The Californian Editorial Board endorsed one of her opponents, Andy Vidak.
On Monday’s show, Cox left the studio and Perez discussed the campaign with Price for less than 10 minutes.
Perez noted that she’ll start election day out of the area to be with her husband, who is graduating from divinity school in the Southern California city of Claremont. She’s said she’ll be back in Bakersfield later in the day.
As a Valleycrat — a politician who puts Valley interests above those of the party — Perez cited fracking, water storage and taxes as issues where Valley interests differ from the rest of the state.
“We are different, we have different values,” she said.
Perez said constituents will win when it comes down to supporting the Valley vs. supporting the party.
She added that while she is definitely more known in Kern County, this election is almost impossible to poll, but that it’s clear Democrats are heading out to vote in Tuesday’s special election to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Democrat Michael Rubio.
Perez took Vidak to task on the controversial High Speed Rail.
“Andy is saying he still is opposed to it,” she said, “I have said the voters have approved it. This is the biggest jobs plan in California history. This is an opportunity to put the Central Valley back to work.”
After Perez left the studio, Cox came back on air and called her refusal to speak with him “the greatest display of wanton childishness” he’s ever seen.
“I’ve been doing this for 12 years and have had people get mad at me, yell at me, argue with me ... fine, do all that, But I can’t be in the room with that person?
“Is that a person you want in any leadership position of any kind?”
Cox and Price noted that Perez hadn’t indicated to anyone that she would not speak to Cox when her appearance was scheduled last week. Price said he was just as surprised as everyone else.
“If you’re going come on somebody’s show and their name is on the show, tell somebody in advance ‘I can’t go on with that person’ so we can deal with that ahead of time,” Cox said.