Bakersfield City Councilman Andrae Gonzales has his eyes set on a bigger office, challenging a recently-elected incumbent.
Gonzales announced Wednesday that he is running for the 35th Assembly District, which is represented by Asm. Jasmeet Bains (D–Bakersfield).
The backstory: Gonzales, the first Latino to serve as Bakersfield’s vice mayor, has represented downtown Bakersfield on the city council since he was first elected in 2016.
- Before joining the dais at Bakersfield City Hall, Gonzales served as a trustee on the Bakersfield City School District Board of Education from 2010-2016.
Driving the news: Gonzales faces an uphill battle in his attempt to oust the newly-elected Bains from her seat.
- Bains soundly defeated Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez by 21 points last November in the intra-Democratic Party fight, with heavy backing from the California Medical Association.
- In March, Bains showed that she will not side with her fellow Democrats on every issue as she joined Republicans in a failed attempt to oppose California’s gas tax.
- That caught the attention of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration, who went after Bains on Twitter following the vote.
- Democratic leadership also turned on Bains as Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon stripped her assignment on the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.