Green Room

Upset: Republican wins California Senate seat in heavily Hispanic district

posted at 1:27 pm on July 30, 2013 by

Democrats’ stranglehold on the California legislature loosened slightly last week when a Republican farmer captured an open Senate seat in the state’s beleaguered Central Valley.  The victor, Andy Vidak, is fluent in Spanish and worked tirelessly to persuade voters to embrace his vision of limited government and lower taxes.  Vidak’s recipe for success included relentless retail politics, thousands of face-t0-face conversations, and a local GOP that marshaled its resources to simply out-work complacent Democrats:

Fresno cherry farmer and cattle rancher Andy Vidak, who is fluent in Spanish, said he captured the state Senate seat in last week’s closely watched runoff vote by connecting with Hispanic voters with a “common-sense” approach that focused on job creation, affordable energy and opposition to big government. He even cooked menudo, a cow-stomach soup and a Mexican favorite, at a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event at the Bakersfield fairgrounds where 10,000 Hispanics turned out.  He got a big assist from other GOP officeholders and hundreds of Spanish-speaking Republican volunteers going door to door, making pitches in Spanish where necessary in the 60 percent Hispanic district. Mr. Vidak also managed to create a little political daylight from hard-liners in his party on the issue of eventually granting citizenship to illegal immigrants. “We talked to them in their homes, where they are most comfortable on the issues that matter most to them: improving the economy, lower taxes, less government interference with small business,” Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen said. Fresno GOP Chairman Kurtis Wiley said he had never seen a party work harder and rally its resources any better.

Vidak won Friday’s run-off, carrying 54 percent of the vote in a district that is 63 percent Hispanic, and in which Democrats hold a wide registration advantage.  The seat was previously held by Democrat Michael Rubio, who won it handily in 2010.  Despite Vidak’s hard-earned triumph, California Democrats maintain super-majority control of the Senate in Sacramento.  Due to a recent vacancy, the party is currently one vote shy of re-establishing its previous super-majority in the State Assembly, as well.  California has the 49th worst state credit rating in the nation, second only to Illinois.  These states share a common trait.

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…so you can get rid of a Rubio!

KOOLAID2 on July 31, 2013 at 8:23 AM

And now the truth comes out. Admitted user of illegals supports illegals, lol. Shocking. And now for a reality check: You have no idea what these saint-like illegals are doing after they clocked out…
xblade on July 30, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Aww, the ol, “gotcha card”…how foolish, so if I didn’t have contact you could say “You have no first hand knowledge”…what a great debater you are.

You have no idea what my relationship with “illegals” were, when and under what circumstances, you just saw an opportunity to “gotcha”.

But fine, if you feel that the inner city Detroit, Chicago, are better representatives of American citizens, that is your choice, and that was the comparison I was making.

Give me 100 illegal’s who have risked their lives to cross the border…or 100 inner city unemployed who voted 115% for Obama, and I will take the 100 illegals as neighbors, friends, fellow workers, and help them become solid American citizens…or you can allow them to follow the footsteps of the inner city.

Your choice…the “illegals” can push out the squatters.

right2bright on July 31, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Give me 100 illegal’s who have risked their lives to cross the border…or 100 inner city unemployed who voted 115% for Obama, and I will take the 100 illegals as neighbors, friends, fellow workers, and help them become solid American citizens
right2bright on July 31, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Shameful how you use “inner city” citizens as a code word for “black.” Also shameful how you put down Americans in your pathetic attempt to romanticize unskilled illegal aliens who are willing to work for very little. Pathetic that you characterize entering the country illegal as some kind of historic act.

While you beg for your 100 illegal aliens to live on your block, I’ll take instead 100 LEGAL immigrants, be they from Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada or anywhere else. Yes, I’ll take the legal immigrants who have waited their turn, have proven they won’t be a burden on the state or require welfare, have undergone thorough background checks, who have needed skills and advanced degrees, and who will enrich our communities and make us a better country. I’ll take 100 LEGAL immigrants who speak English, who want to be American, who respect our laws, and who cherish the opportunity to have a green card.

While you go on about how you’re best buddies with illegal aliens, I would prefer not to have Mexico literally transfer a large segment of its poor, unskilled population on us. Mexico sure doesn’t mess around when it keeps out poor illegal immigrants from Central America, but we’re supposed to let in anyone and everyone and tell them they’re entitled to all kinds of free goodies? Take a drive through El Monte, CA or Santa Ana or Downey or Pico Rivera or Covina if you want to see what happens when one country dumps its poor on another. We have immigration laws for a reason. We ought to be able to have standards for who comes in and who doesn’t. California has been nearly destroyed by illegal immigration, but you’re just fine with it because you think ignoring immigration laws makes you seem like a cool guys in front of your buddies. To me you’re pathetic.

bluegill on July 31, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Pathetic that you characterize entering the country illegal as some kind of historic act.

Should read: Pathetic that you characterize entering the country illegally as some kind of heroic act.

I am using dictation on iPhone now, and it gets the words wrong occasionally.

bluegill on July 31, 2013 at 9:06 AM

“Give me 100 illegal’s who have risked their lives to cross the border…or 100 inner city unemployed who voted 115% for Obama, and I will take the 100 illegals as neighbors, friends, fellow workers…”

You’re in luck. You can have both. And in the end, you’ll like neither.

“… and help them become solid American citizens…or you can allow them to follow the footsteps of the inner city.”

Too bad it’s beyond your ability to help them do anything other than become American citizens. The rest is up to them. And the track record shows they largely aren’t up to the task.

Pincher Martin on July 31, 2013 at 12:30 PM

“Give me 100 illegal’s who have risked their lives to cross the border…or 100 inner city unemployed who voted 115% for Obama, and I will take the 100 illegals as neighbors, friends, fellow workers…”

You’re in luck. You can have both. And in the end, you’ll like neither.

“… and help them become solid American citizens…or you can allow them to follow the footsteps of the inner city.”

Too bad it’s beyond your ability to help them do anything other than become American citizens. The rest is up to them. And the track record shows they largely aren’t up to the task.

Pincher Martin on July 31, 2013 at 12:31 PM

By the way, there’s no mystery what happened in District 16. A Republican won in a special election in a Democratic district because of low turnout.

We have no exit polls. But Hispanics are not the most reliable voters even in presidential elections. The Census Bureau shows that only 48 percent voted in the 2012 presidential election. I bet no more than 15 to 25 percent of them bothered turning out for this special election.

Republicans will always have a good chance of winning when the other side doesn’t show up to vote.

Pincher Martin on July 31, 2013 at 12:36 PM

This is HUGE.

A caveat is that the Central Valley is atypical in that it has been very hard hit, shotgunned, by the environmental and other policies. Nevertheless, if the is a harbinger of the future, it could bode well.

But again, I think this is an exceptional outlier at this point, and anyone that tries to use this to push amnesty is absolutely misguided. Hispanics at large are not going to vote this way; they vote Obama. And the mass invasion from the south is really changing (or destroying) the character of California, and next that will happen to the rest of the country.

Having said that, it’s a great idea for our legislators to learn Spanish. Just do it.

anotherJoe on July 31, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Having said that, it’s a great idea for our legislators to learn Spanish. Just do it.

Yeah, learning a foreign language as an adult is so simple. Any half-wit can do it.

Say, what foreign languages have you learned as an adult?

And the mass invasion from the south is really changing (or destroying) the character of California, and next that will happen to the rest of the country.

It’s already destroyed the character of California. The state that elected Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon is dead, and it’s not going to be revived by Spanish-speaking Republicans.

Pincher Martin on July 31, 2013 at 3:28 PM

And the hundreds I have managed over the years did exactly that, come to work and be loyal to their workplace.

right2bright on July 30, 2013 at 3:59 PM

And of those hundreds, how man used an stolen/fraudulent SSN for their employment forms, and credit etc…or did you just look the other way when they did?

I guess the victims of the SSN theft should feel proud to have subsidized your hiring practices. Of course, maybe you were nice and just paid hundreds under the table. In that case, honest competitors really were suckers for complying with laws and increasing labor overhead costs, huh?

batter on July 31, 2013 at 6:45 PM

He didn’t win the Hispanic vote. He lost it 75% to 25%. Romney did better with Hispanics than this guy.
xblade on July 30, 2013 at 11:16 PM

If that is true, then pro-amnesty Guy Benson needs to issue an apology and clarification for his misleading post.
bluegill on July 30, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Just wanted to post that again so that people realize this was no great win for a Republican among Hispanics.

Some pro-amnesty bloggers like Guy Benson might try to use this election as a way to push amnesty, but the truth is that this Republican who won, and who favored amnesty, actually did worse among Hispanics than Romney did last November.

So, Guy Benson and others can take their illegal alien amnesty propaganda and shove it.

bluegill on July 31, 2013 at 9:17 PM

He didn’t win the Hispanic vote. He lost it 75% to 25%. Romney did better with Hispanics than this guy.
xblade on July 30, 2013 at 11:16 PM

Does xblade have a source for that stat?

Pincher Martin on July 31, 2013 at 9:29 PM

I think the better explanation for Vidak’s victory is not that the Republican candidate won the Hispanic vote, but that turnout was very low because it was a special election. And in that kind of election, the more dedicated voters tend to be white and the less dedicated tend to be Hispanic.

According to this source:

…turnout is low in the counties with the most registered voters. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Kern County elections officials said turnout was about 16 percent. Mail-in and absentee ballots in Fresno County show about a 15 percent turnout.

But, in Tulare County voter turnout Tuesday was high, at 40 percent so far. Mail-in ballots counted so far in Kings County show turnout at 24 percent. Voters we spoke with weren’t surprised.

On average, it looks like less than 25 percent of the District’s registered voters came to the polls.

Also, if you look at Wikipedia’s page on the election results for District 16, you find that the winning Republican candidate this year still trails by nearly thirty thousand votes what the Democratic candidate received in the district in 2010 for the last election. Vidak even trailed the losing GOP candidate from 2010 in the number of votes he received. The Democratic incumbent in 2006 (Dean Florez) also got more than twenty thousand additional votes than Vidak and he ran unopposed.

So it’s clear that turnout was way down then because Democratic voters stayed home for the special election. The Democrats should get this seat back in two years’ time. Vidak offered nothing special.

Pincher Martin on July 31, 2013 at 9:45 PM

This guy should be a hero in the GOP.. but the leadership will ignore him. Just like they do Scott Walker.

This country is waiting for conservative leadership… standing on it’s tiptoes.. but they don’t see it. California is just like any place else.. people want freedom. Everywhere.. people want freedom. But the GOP has abandoned them. And when they show up.. they pretend to be Democrats. The people have no choices.

Look what can be done when it is tried.

JellyToast on July 31, 2013 at 11:19 PM

Jelly Toast,

You have no idea what you’re talking about.

The GOP establishment loves the lesson this guy represents: We can win Hispanic voters !

The establishment doesn’t really care if the lesson is true or not. They’re just happy to pretend so in order to secure their positions for the next election.

Pincher Martin on July 31, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Attention: Promoter of Illegal Alien Amnesty Guy Benson

Guy Benson, you need to take a look at this article that someone else here posted earlier:
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/08/the_gop_hispanic_victory_that_wasnt.html

Excerpt from the article:

turns out that Vidak’s 16th district was majority Hispanic and Democrat – before a 2011 redistricting. In fact, Wikipedia tells us that the old 16th was 63.2 percent Hispanic, 22.3 percent white (no data is available on “white Hispanics,” packin’ or not), 50.58 percent Democratic and 31.49 percent Republican. But the new 16th is 52.04 percent white, 35.72 percent Hispanic, 45.91 percent Republican and 29.75 percent Democrat. Thus, it’s not surprising that while the Democrats had won the 16th-district senate seat each of the previous three elections, the GOP prevailed this time around.

Guy Benson, where is the update and clarification?

Try again next time, opponents of immigration law enforcement.

bluegill on August 3, 2013 at 4:35 AM

Hmmm … actual proof that the Dembeciles don’t necessarily own California, Hispanics or America.

stukinIL4now on August 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM

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