Politics

Parra girds for Senate battle with Hurtado, rolls out endorsements

The intra-party fight for the new 16th Senate District got a bit more fascinating this week. 

Monday, the Greater Bakersfield Chamber Political Action Committee (BAKPAC) endorsed Nicole Parra over incumbent Melissa Hurtado (D–Sanger). 

One day later, she announced that the Peace Officers Research Association of California – one of the largest law enforcement special interest groups operating across the state – was also joining her list of backers.

In addition to Hurtado, Parra, a former Democrat Assemblymember from 2002-2008, is also running against Delano Mayor Bryan Osorio, and Republican Porterville farmer David Shepard. 

“As someone who has spent over 30 years advocating and working on behalf of Central Valley families, I am truly honored to receive the endorsement and support from the Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce PAC. The Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce represents over 1,000 members and is an organization that represents 50-60,000 jobs in the Bakersfield area,” Parra said in a statement. 

“In the Senate, I will continue to be a champion for working families and our small business owners. The Southern San Joaquin Valley feeds our nation and keeps our economy moving. Our community should have the resources and opportunities we need to live the American dream. To attain these resources and opportunities, we need elected leaders who are experienced, disciplined, and effective.” 

The Bakersfield Chamber also endorsed Jeff Flores for the Kern County Board of Supervisors District 3, Vince Fong for Assembly District 32, Leticia Perez for Assembly District 35, and Shannon Grove for Senate District 12. 

“We’re proud to endorse these candidates for office in the 2022 Primary Election,” chamber president and CEO Nick Ortiz said in a statement. “Each candidate has an immense passion for our community and we’re confident that each will work to ensure that citizens and businesses in Bakersfield and Kern County are well represented.” 

BAKPAC Chair Dana Brennan said each endorsement reflects the chamber’s confidence that the candidates have an established record of supporting the local business community and will fight for a business-friendly environment. 

“We are committed to electing candidates that can help create a strong local economy here in Bakersfield and Kern County, as well as fight for business at the State level,” Brennan said in a statement. 

The Primary Election is scheduled for June 7, with the top two winners heading to the General Election in November.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.