HANFORD, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – The race for California State Senate District 16 which covers much of the South Valley, is a tight race.

Current District 14 State Senator Melissa Hurtado is now running in District 16 after she was forced to move district after the redraw.

Republican and farmer, David Sheperd, is running in his first election.

Hurtado’s campaign outspent Shepard’s more than five to one, but it doesn’t appear to be leading to her capturing a seat in the California State Senate.

Democratic candidate Melissa Hurtado raised more than $4-million dollars for State Senate District 16.

Republican candidate David Sheperd raised just a fraction of that, just over three-quarters of a million dollars.

However, UC Merced Professor Nate Monroe says despite Hurtado’s campaign raising more than five times as much as her opponent, Shepard’s new reputation gave him more votes per dollar.

“For a candidate who isn’t well known, the first dollars go a lot further because what you’re really buying is name recognition to credibility,” said Monroe.

This race, being as close as it is, is surprising for two reasons, according to Professor Monroe.

“One is, you do still have a significant partisan advantage. You look at that and think democrats should win that a lot of the time. Second, p-piece of surprise. Turnout as far as I can tell nationwide and especially in California legislative races, looks pretty good,” he said.

Throughout the district that stretches from Reedley to Bakersfield, 41% of registered voters are Democratic; 28% of voters are registered Republicans.

We met Republican candidate David Shepard in Hanford on election night.

“The fact that we can have a farmer, a business owner, a politician, anyone run for office. Yes, it’s razor thin, and I do think a lot of that will change, I think we’ll pull out on top,” said Shepard.

Hurtado is the incumbent in District 14 which shares a large portion of District 16 after the redraw.

Her office shared a statement with us saying, “I’m proud of the campaign we ran and today, I’m even more optimistic about the eventual result. It’s important to give election workers the time they need to perform a thorough count and I’m confident we will prevail.”

These results can take days or even weeks to come to a final result.

Both candidates tell yourcentralvalley.com they’re waiting for the official count to claim victory.