Henry T. Perea won't run for state Senate seat vacated by Rubio

The Fresno BeeMarch 1, 2013 

2W4SHOULDERS

Two-year-old Ava Perea looks to the gallery while riding the shoulders of her father, Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, after he took the oath of office Monday in the Capitol. Perea is starting his second term in the Assembly, where Democrats now hold a supermajority.

HECTOR AMEZCUA — hamezcua@sacbee.com

Assembly Member Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, announced Friday afternoon he will not run for the California State Senate District 16 seat that became open last week when Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, unexpectedly resigned.

"I would like to thank the many friends and supporters that reached out to me with their encouragement to run for the open Senate seat. I am truly humbled by the outpouring of bipartisan support," Perea said in a news release. He is now at an Assembly workshop in downtown Fresno on proposed legislation to retrofit California schools and make them more energy efficient.

"While the opportunity to serve in the California State Senate is appealing, I made a commitment to my constituents to serve and meet the needs of my Assembly district. I also made a commitment to my wife and family to create a balance between my home life and work. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our second child in July and I want to uphold my commitment to my family and the 31st Assembly District."

Perea said he plans to spend the next four years in the Assembly "fighting for my constituents to create new jobs, provide clean drinking water and investing more in education."

The question remains as to who will run in a special election that will be held either late this spring or early summer.

The district that selects Rubio's replacement will be Senate District 16 as it was between 2002 and 2012, which is about 51% registered Democrats, 28% Republicans and 17% no party preference.

The winner of the special election would face a re-election battle next year under the district's new lines -- Senate District 14. In the special election, all candidates will appear on the same primary election ballot. If a candidate receives 50% plus 1 vote, that person would win outright and a runoff election would not be needed.

Perea's current home in southeast Fresno is in the new Senate District 14.

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