Hurtado rolls out first initiative amidst turbulent election

Senator Melissa Hurtado reaches out to residents for ideas on legislation and budget requests

TULARE COUNTY –  Despite undergoing a recount, Senator Melissa Hurtado has been sworn in and already rolled out a public outreach initiative.

Hurtado has found herself in one of the tightest senate races California has seen this election season. Yet, despite the turbulent recount, Hurtado has already announced one of her first public outreach initiatives for this term. She is now welcoming input from residents of Senate District 16 concerning state legislation or budget requests. Residents can participate in the public comment period by visiting

“Residents of the 16th Senate District face unique challenges that are often overlooked by Sacramento and California’s urban areas,” Hurtado said in a statement. “I encourage everyone in Senate District 16 to submit their ideas on how we can improve the safety, health and wellbeing of our community.”

This initiative comes after a grueling election this year, as Kern County was the last of the four counties within Senate District 16 to finish processing ballots. On Dec. 8, the Kern County Elections Office completed its count of all of the votes in its election, which was certified by the Board of Supervisors this morning. Hurtado won the seat by 20 votes, the slimest percentage victory since before 1900, according to her opponent David Shepard.

However, Shepard has already made public statements he may call for a recount and even possibly file suit against the Kern County Elections Office if he finds evidence of any inaccuracies, anomalies or corruption.

Unless something changes, Hurtado will again represent the Valley in the California State Senate when it reconvenes on Jan. 4, but this time she will represent the newly formed state Senate District 16. Hurtado had formerly represented Senate District 14, which encompassed portions of Fresno, Kings, Madera and Merced counties. 

Hurtado was first elected to the Senate in 2018 when she defeated incumbent Andy Vidak. Hurtado has been a champion for water infrastructure projects at both the local and state level and more recently provided millions in funding for local cities, including $7 million for a new civic center in Woodlake, $2 million in funding for the Lindsay Fire Department and $7 million for a new fire station in Farmersville.

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