The 2020 election is one of the closest followed elections in recent history, but here in Bakersfield at the local Democratic Watch Party, hosted by the family of city councilman candidate Eric Arias, there was much to be celebrated last night. The party of over 50 attendees had a great time singing, dancing, and celebrating as the early poles have projected incumbent Rudy Salas as retaining his position of assemblyman.
This makes the fifth consecutive term for Salas who has, along with Arias, claimed an early victory as both have 76% of the votes before the total votes have been counted.
“Good about the election. People are engaged, people are learning about the candidates, whether its national, state, Or local. For me I just love seeing people engaged and wanting to learn more…I think the more people participate in our democracy and better our democracy is,” Salas said.
In his eight years as an assemblyman, Salas has multiple accomplishments to tout for the district, including securing $10,000,000 for the valley fever program, the millions raised for CSU Bakersfield and its food pantry, and the $2,000,000 raised for the technical program at Bakersfield College.
In terms of getting out and voting, Salas believes that when the people are more informed and have seen what the candidates have actually done for the community it makes them feel more involved.
“When people start learning what people have delivered and done I think it’s better for the elector, I think it better for society, and I think it’s better for our community,” Salas said.
Arias, 24, was brimming with excitement as he looked toward his likely win for a seat on the City Council.
“We have had such great feedback on the ground and we’ve been able to put together such a great coalition of leaders and community supports…I couldn’t be more grateful for their support,” Arias said.
Arias is eager to take on the job.
“I’m ready to get to work, the real work and the hard work starts tomorrow,” Arias said.
Arias says he hopes to address major issues like road infrastructure and creating more affordable housing options.
“Ward 1 and the southeast Bakersfield have been drowned in a narrative that they can’t be helped, but that’s just not true, we know that it can and we need to bring community partners together to address their issues,” Arias said.
As of the morning of Nov. 4, Arias won 76.38% of the vote, with all precincts reporting.