Serving the community since 1970

Candidates vie for Assembly position

This year's midyear elections features some highly contested elections. One example is the fight for the California State Assembly District 35.

Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez is going against Dr. Jasmeet Bains. Both are working to earn the support of the community for the coveted role.

Perez is a Democrat and has many reasons why she is running. In particular, she said she wants to make sure that Kern County has a voice in Sacramento.

"We have many issues impacting our Valley, h and I have the expertise, relationships and proven track record of delivering real change," Perez said.

Before entering politics, she was previously a public defender and has served as a member of the Kern County Planning Commission.

"I then went on to be the first Latina supervisor in the Central Valley and was also the first Latina president of the California Association of Counties," Perez stated.

She believes she should be elected and points to these challenging times adding that we need someone with the leadership skills to ensure that Kern County gets its fair share.

"I have served half the district for over ten years now, and I know what it takes to make positive changes in people's lives."

Perez said she is ready to hit the ground running and will always put the people of Kern County first.

She cares about the community she will represent should she be elected and shared that Kern County is her home. She was raised in this district, along with her parents and grandparents.

"Now I am raising my children in the district."

Perez grew up poor in East Bakersfield.

"I know firsthand the struggles my neighbors face every day, and that is why I have dedicated my life to public service. This is my home, and this community is my family."

She cares very much about the issues facing the district.

"As assemblymember, I hope to tackle some of California's most pressing issues," Perez said.

She plans to make sure that Kern County remains the nation's energy capital while also addressing the housing and workforce development challenges.

Perez has deep roots in the community.

"I am not an outsider moving in. I have dedicated my life to serving our community and have delivered real results for the people of Kern County."

She started a mobile spay and neuter program for pets, created the first-ever dual enrollment program for the Kern High district and set up the first drive-thru mass testing and vaccination sites in the Central Valley,

"Me and my team have always produced positive change for Kern County, and I will continue to do this at the state level," Perez said.

Dr. Jasmeet Bains is a Democrat and comes with strong qualifications, ready to serve the district.

She said the challenges we face in the Valley are not small.

"With a champion who will fight for access to quality healthcare, safe streets and neighborhoods, jobs that provide good wages, and clean air and water for everyone, we can deliver a better future for all who call our Valley home."

Dr. Bains said she is running for State Assembly to be that champion.

She has served on the frontlines providing healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and has seen the inequities in the healthcare system and the devastating impacts they have had on families and children.

"Our Valley needs and deserves a champion who will make the health and well-being of our families a top priority. As an assemblymember, I will never stop fighting for our Valley."

While this is her first time running for office, she has spent her career working as a family doctor providing healthcare to communities.

"I also work with Global Family, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping human trafficking and child abuse, including here in the Valley."

As the medical director at Bakersfield Recovery Services, she trains first responders and law enforcement on how to treat fentanyl overdoses. She also works with youth in high schools, teaching them about drugs.

In 2017, she was appointed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission and has received numerous awards for her community service.

Some of these recognitions include a 2021 Beautiful Bakersfield Award in the health category from the Greater Bakersfield Chamber and the 2019 Hero of Family Medicine from the California Academy of Family Physicians.

She believes the Valley needs leaders who will fight for families, youth, immigrants and seniors.

"My background as a family doctor and addiction specialist has provided me with firsthand, real-world experience and insights into the challenges we face and the resources we need to ensure a better future for everyone."

She added, "No one will be a stronger champion for our Valley than me."

Bains is the daughter of immigrant parents and grew up here in the Valley.

"My family taught me and my siblings the importance of giving back and helping others achieve the American dream like we did."

She said it is the reason she became a doctor.

"And it's the reason I am running for Assembly. I want to make the Valley strong and fight for the resources we need for safe and healthy communities."


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