Fellow Dem Targets Hurtado’s District for State Senate Reelection Bid
Anna Caballero announced she will run for reelection to the state Senate in a district that could pit her against another Senate Democrat.
“I have represented Merced, Madera and Fresno counties since my election to the California State Senate in 2018. In 2022, I will ask the voters to allow me the honor of continuing to represent them in the California State Senate,” Caballero said in a news release Monday.
The move has Caballero running in the redrawn Senate District 14, currently represented by Sen. Melissa Hurtado, D-Sanger.
Both are conservative Democrats who reflect many of the Valley’s attitudes on water, jobs, agriculture, healthcare, and other issues. Over the last three years, they have been frequent allies on legislation.
If Hurtado wants to remain in the Senate, she would have to run against her colleague or move to another district.
“Senator Hurtado will be making an announcement in the coming days,” a campaign spokesperson told GV Wire by text.
Changing Political Boundaries
Caballero, D-Salinas, currently represents the 12th Senate district, stretching from Salinas in the west to Modesto in the north and including western Fresno County.
The current SD 14 represented by Hurtado covers portions of the city of Fresno, eastern Fresno County, Kings County and parts of Tulare and Kern counties.
The lines have changed, going into effect for the June 2022 primary. The new SD 14 includes most of rural Fresno County (excluding north Fresno, Clovis or the mountain communities), and most of Merced County, as well as the city of Madera.
State legislators running for office must be registered to vote in the district they are running at the the time of filing. Caballero has a residence in Merced, now within SD 14. In theory, she would re-register there to be able to run.
Salinas will become part of SD 17, represented by state Sen. John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, whose term runs through 2024. Only even-numbered Senate districts are up for election in 2022. Moving into a new district would be the only way Caballero could stay in office.
What About SD 16?
Some communities that Hurtado currently serves in Kings, Tulare and Kern counties will now be in SD 16. If Hurtado chooses not to run in that district, the race for the seat will be an open contest.
No one has publicly announced a campaign, although there are rumblings of candidates preparing to jump in if Hurtado decides to remain in SD 14.
Andy Vidak, the state senator in SD 14 from 2014-2018, lives within the boundaries of the new SD 16. Hurtado defeated Vidak in the 2018 election.