By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Prominent Bakersfield attorney Daniel Rodriguez made his first appearance on “First Look with Scott Cox” on Friday, and defended Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez after retired Rep. Bill Thomas questioned her truthfulness during a show on July 1.
Rodriguez said he was a big fan of Perez, and was not making an appearance as part of Perez’s campaign for the 16th Senate District. However, Perez was expected to appear on the show, but Rodriguez replaced her at the last minute.
“I’m a big fan of Leticia Perez,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not part of the campaign. I’m not any of those things.”
Rodriguez was interviewed by Cox, The Californian’s Robert Price, the newspaper’s editorial page editor, and The Californian’s Theo Douglas, who is covering the race.
Perez and Andy Vidak are competing for the 16th Senate District seat that was left vacant when Michael Rubio resigned to take a job with Chevron. The campaign to replace him has been increasingly contentious and expensive. Voters will decide on July 24 who to send to Sacramento.
Rodriguez defended Perez’s record, while attacking Vidak’s voting record. Rodriguez said while Vidak touts his economic record and interest in farming-related water issues, Vidak has failed to vote in several elections where those topics were on the ballot.
Perez has made an issue of Vidak’s voting record and Thomas said that Perez has failed to vote in election in the past. Rodriguez countered that Vidak’s failure to vote was more significant because some of those came in general elections, including in 2002.
“Yes. I agree that not all of us vote all of the time,” Rodriguez said. “But if you’re going to go out and brag about it, on certain issues. I think you’re going to want to have some credibility.”
Rodriguez also defended Perez’s stay on the Board of Supervisors.
“It’s a very valid criticism but here’s my point,” Rodriguez said. “Did anyone criticize Rick Perry? Wasn’t he running for president, while he was the governor of Texas? I didn’t hear any of the local Republicans talk about that.”
Price jumped in an clarified that Perry had already been in office for some time before running for office, but Rodriguez still disagreed on the point.
“It’s nothing new,” Rodriguez said. “What I look at is if they’re a good candidate.”