Luis Chavez is a Fresno Democrat hoping to oust incumbent Hanford Republican Andy Vidak in the 14th State Senate District.
State Sen. Kevin de León is a Los Angeles Democrat, is the incoming president pro tem of the body, and a Chavez supporter.
So it should come as no surprise that a midsummer gaffe by de León is being resurrected by the California Republican Party for a mail piece in the Chavez-Vidak race.
De León’s money line was “no one lives out there in the tumbleweeds” — a reference to why the state’s proposed high-speed rail project should not start in the San Joaquin Valley — and that is the centerpiece of the mailer. It also ties Chavez to de León and calls them both “liberal” at several points.
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Later, de León backtracked from the comments and clarified them, but by then they’d already become Valley lore.
The mailer comes as de León comes to Fresno to headline a Saturday rally for Chavez. Republicans say the mailer is hitting Valley mailboxes on that very day; Democrats say the mailers started arriving a few days ago.
As this plays out, the Chavez campaign on Thursday launched a television advertising campaign and new website — VidaksBrokenPromises.com — that it says highlights “promises Sen. Andy Vidak has broken to the residents of the Central Valley since taking office.”
The website contains several issues where Chavez says Vidak has gone against Valley interests. It also calls him a “Sacramento politician,” even though he was only elected to the office a little more than a year ago.
As the race heats up, Chavez is also running a television ad to refute claims his campaign says are being made by the Vidak campaign that he is anti-Second Amendment.
In the ad, Chavez says he’s a National Rifle Association member who would protect gun rights.