Political Notebook

Local Democrat switches allegiance in 21st Congressional race

Matt Rogers, chairman Fresno County Young Democrats, says he’s pulling his endorsement from Fowler Mayor Pro Tem Daniel T. Parra in the 21st Congressional District, and is instead giving it to Connie Perez, who has yet to officially announce she’s running.
Matt Rogers, chairman Fresno County Young Democrats, says he’s pulling his endorsement from Fowler Mayor Pro Tem Daniel T. Parra in the 21st Congressional District, and is instead giving it to Connie Perez, who has yet to officially announce she’s running. The Fresno Bee file photo

Democrat Connie Perez has yet to say whether or not she’ll get into the 21st Congressional District race, but already, she’s won an endorsement.

Matt Rogers, chairman Fresno County Young Democrats, says he’s backing Perez.

In doing so, Rogers is pulling his endorsement of Fowler Mayor Pro Tem Daniel T. Parra.

“I was just incredibly impressed with her,” Rogers said of Perez. Addressing his pulled Parra endorsement, Rogers added: “He’s had eight months to seal this deal, and he hasn’t done it.”

Perez, 39, is the new twist in the 21st District.

The incumbent in the race is Hanford Republican David Valadao. He’s easily dismissed two Democratic Party challengers, despite the fact that Democrats in the district hold a 16-percentage point registration advantage over Republicans.

Valadao is consistently on lists of vulnerable Republicans, and Democrats are scratching their collective heads about why they aren’t more competitive in the district. Last year, Amanda Renteria returned home to the central San Joaquin Valley from Washington D.C., raised a ton of money — and got trounced by Valadao. She was smart, well-schooled and a Hispanic female in a Hispanic-dominated district.

Headed into the 2016 race, Parra emerged as the lone Democratic Party challenger.

But his campaign finance report, which showed his fundraising through the first six months of this year, showed that he raised only $24,000 and, after counting debts, only had around $4,000 in his campaign account.

Valadao, by comparison, has more than $600,000 in his campaign account.

Not long after the campaign account information became public, Perez’s name emerged as a possible new entry into the race. She is currently living in Pasadena, but is a Tulare County native and a partner with Bakersfield-based accounting firm of Brown Armstrong.

In an interview, she said she’s “very strongly considering a run.”

That was two weeks ago, and there’s still no news on her final decision.

But Rogers predicted more people will be following his lead in pulling their endorsement from Parra and instead offering it to Perez.

  Comments