Bakersfield City Councilman Andrae Gonzales is no longer running for the Assembly, announcing that he is suspending his campaign just a few months after launching it.
That leaves incumbent Asm. Jasmeet Bains (D–Bakersfield) without a challenger for her seat as she continues through her first term in office.
Driving the news: Gonzales announced his decision on social media on Friday, shifting his focus back to the Bakersfield City Council.
- In addition to suspending his campaign, Gonzales also announced that he will run for reelection to the city council for his seat representing Ward two.
- Gonzales was first elected to the council in 2016 and won his reelection bid in 2020 unopposed.
Money matters: Bains, who handily defeated Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez last year to get elected to the Assembly, held a major fundraising advantage over Gonzales, putting the Bakersfield councilman at a significant disadvantage.
- Bains had raised nearly $400,000 in the first half of the year and had over $340,000 on hand in July.
- On the other hand, Gonzales brought in just over $100,000.
What they’re saying: “After many meaningful conversations with my family, friends, supporters and mentors, I have decided to suspend my campaign for State Assembly,” Gonzales said in his announcement. “Now, more than ever, our community needs collaborative leadership. With the many and varied crises our region faces, it will take all of us working together to tackle issues head on and find viable solutions that benefit all families of Kern County.”
- Gonzales said he is proud of the work he has accomplished on the city council and knows there is still much more to do. He also thanked all of his supporters, including former Asm. Rudy Salas and former Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
- “It is time for the local Democratic Party, and our entire community, to come together and look toward the future in unity, elect strong and smart leaders in 2024, and work towards a safer, healthier and more prosperous Kern County,” Gonzales said.