Republican concedes in key state Senate race, scales tip toward Democrat ‘supermajority’

Democratic Assembly Member Anna Caballero and Republican Rob Poythress
Democratic Assembly Member Anna Caballero and Republican Rob Poythress

A Democrat has all but officially won what’s considered one of the most important local races this election, as Republican Rob Poythress on Saturday conceded to Democrat Anna Caballero in the race for the Senate District 12 seat.

With an acknowledgment that there are still votes left to count — and implying most of those votes could likely favor his opponent and flip the red seat — Poythress took to Facebook to let his supporters know, “It’s evident Anna Caballero has won the election and I would like to congratulate her.”

Caballero issued a statement later Saturday, thanking her volunteers and supporters. “The outcome tells me the message and vision of our campaign was the right one for rural California and the district’s voters,” she said.

“I will work hard to make sure that the needs and interests of rural California on health care access, education, clean water and clean air, affordable housing, and agricultural production are taken seriously by the legislators and politicians in Sacramento, most of whom represent big cities.”

A former Assemblywoman, Caballero led the race with 52 percent of the vote to Poythress’ 47 percent, according to the Secretary of State.

Once her victory is sealed, Caballero would give Democrats in the state Legislature a supermajority in both houses, just as the state also elected Democrat Gavin Newsom as governor.

With a supermajority, Democrats would have the power to override vetoes without Republican votes.

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Republican Anthony Cannella represents Senate District 12, but is termed out. Senate District 12 represents parts of Fresno, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito and Stanislaus counties.

Poythress said in his message that he would continue working for residents in his job as a Madera County Supervisor. “We gave it all and left nothing on the table,” he said.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado: 559-441-6304, @cres_guez