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State Senate District 12 flips from red to blue
Anna Caballero defeats Rob Poythress
State Senator Anna Caballero introduced a bill which presents a comprehensive package of changes to California’s use-of-force statutes, law enforcement agency policies, and training.

It looks like Anna Caballero will succeed Anthony Cannella as the next 12th District state senator to represent Ceres and area.

Cannella, the former Ceres mayor, has held the 12th State Senate District since January 2011. The seat has appeared to have flipped from red to blue on Election Day with the election of Caballero, 63. Results will not be official since there are tens of thousands of provisional and conditional ballots to be counted.

Caballero is currently a member of the state Assembly in district #30. 

As of Thursday evening there were thousands of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots left to be counted. Caballero was ahead by 6,181 votes, according to the California Secretary of State website yesterday. The most recent tally showed her leading at 72,034 votes, or 52.2 percent, to Poythress’ 65,853 votes, or 47.8 percent.

Caballero was elected to the state Assembly in November 2016. She previously served as Secretary of Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency under Governor Jerry Brown’s Cabinet from 2010 to 2016. She made an unsuccessful bid to take the Senate when Cannella defeated her in 2010.

Poythress is a Madera County supervisor. An almond farmer, he is a member of the Farm Bureau, and previously served three terms on the Madera City Council and served as its mayor. 

He campaigned on expanding water availability, stricter sentences for felons, improved access to services for veterans and trimming the number of state government jobs.

Caballero focused strongly on expanding access to healthcare, education, and the impact the federal crackdown on immigration has had on the agriculture industry.

Cannella was unable to run for re-election because of term limits.

The outcome of the race is important in terms of political power in Sacramento. Democrats need 27 seats for a two-thirds majority in the 40-member Senate and had 26 heading into the election. 

Democrats are also working to defend its supermajority in the Assembly.

A supermajority would allow Democrats to raise taxes, suspend legislative rules or override vetoes without Republican votes.

The 12th Senate district includes six counties, stretching all the way to Stanislaus County from Caballero’s home base of Salinas. Portions of Fresno, Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito and Stanislaus counties are part of the district.

rob poythress.jpeg
Rob Poythress