Supervisor Leticia Perez weighs run for state Assembly

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Aug. 20—Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez is considering a run for the state Assembly seat held by Rudy Salas, but has not yet made a decision.

"We are open to the idea, we're thinking about it. We're weighing our pros and cons," Perez's field representative, Christian Romo, told The Californian. "I think that what we can say is that we're open to discussion."

Perez's decision will come down to whether Salas, D-Bakersfield, decides to run against Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, for California's 21st District along with the outcome of redistricting.

"If Rudy announces tomorrow, and the maps are redrawn in the next month, we might announce in the next coming weeks," Romo said, "but it's hard to say that now with all these moving pieces."

Salas was first elected to represent District 32 in 2012. He has not yet announced his intention to run for another office, but faces a 12-year term limit in 2024.

Multiple Democrats have already announced their intention to take on Valadao, including former Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio, and former aide to Sen. Dianne Feinstein Angel Lara. Republican former Fresno City Councilman Chris Mathys has also filed to run.

Political experts view CA 21 as one of the most competitive congressional districts in the country, and both Republicans and Democrats view it as key to taking or holding power in 2022.

The district was previously represented by Democrat TJ Cox, who could also enter the race. He has said he will make a final determination on running when district lines are redrawn.

Salas, too, has not yet signaled his intention to run. His campaign did not return a request for comment on Friday.

The indecisiveness from many candidates is a result of the confusion over how districts will be composed in the next election.

California is set to lose a seat in Congress after the U.S. Census noted a reorientation of the country's population. That means district boundaries are set to change, and candidates who announce early may find that they live in an entirely different district once the new maps have been drawn.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission has said the maps will be released in December or January, which will give voters the first look at California's new political reality.

Depending on how the new maps are composed, certain candidates may refrain from running, while others may be more eager to try their luck.

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You may also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.

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