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Vidak Takes Early Lead in Special Election

Republican Andy Vidak is holding out hope the votes continue in his favor and win him a seat with the State Senate District 16.
Tuesday night, an early count of votes from Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern Counties showed Republican Andy Vidak with 54% and Democrat Leticia Perez with 46%.

CBS47 caught up with Vidak as he entertained supporters at his ranch in Hanford.

“We’re going to win,” said Andy Vidak, candidate for the State Senate District 16.

The cherry grower prides himself on the fact that he’s made a living in the private sector.

“We need to send somebody who is not a recycled staffer or a politician that’s actually signed both sides of a paycheck,” said Vidak.

Vidak’s goal is to give a voice to small business owners in the Central Valley.

“We’re overtaxed here and we need to roll this back.  We need to keep our businesses here so we can create jobs,” said Vidak.

The Republican sees eye to eye with his opponent Leticia Perez on matters like increasing water storage and investing in sources of clean energy.  But unlike Perez, Vidak does not support raising minimum wage or continuing with the high-speed rail project.

“There’s supposed to be private money put into it, but nobody is lining up for that.  It’s a boondoggle.  It’s actually going to be a job cutter,” said Vidak.

Current Republican lawmakers hope Vidak will advance to the Senate.

“I’d sure like to add to our numbers tonight,” said Calif. Senator Jim Nielsen.

Senator Jim Nielsen represents California’s 4th District.  He says putting a dent in the existing Democratic supermajority gives all of us better government.

“Nobody prospers when there’s such an overwhelming majority of one party.  You do not have balance, you do not have fair debate and you do not have fair representation,” said Sen. Nielsen.

Vidak tells CBS47 that if he does not win this race, he plans to stay involved with politics one way or another.

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