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Pazin Concedes to Soria in Race for 27th Assembly Seat

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Mark Pazin, left, conceded victory to Esmeralda Soria in the fight for the 27th Assembly seat on Monday. (GV Wire File)
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Republican Mark Pazin conceded victory to Democrat Esmeralda Soria in their bruising battle for the open 27th District Assembly seat on Monday afternoon.

As of Monday afternoon, Soria, D-Fresno, leads for the seat— covering parts of Merced, Madera and Fresno counties — by 2,050 votes, or 2.4% over Pazin, R-Merced.

“I would like to congratulate Esmeralda Soria on her win as she becomes the Assemblymember-elect for District 27,” Pazin in an email to supporters. “While we may disagree on many policies and the direction of California, I hope she will serve in the same bipartisan fashion as our outgoing Assemblymember Adam Gray.”

Gray, a Merced Democrat, is in a close battle of his own against Modesto Republican John Duarte for the 13th District seat in the House of Representatives. According to the latest count, Duarte, a farmer, leads with 50.3% of the vote to Gray’s 49.7%.

Pazin, a former Merced County sheriff, said Monday that he conceded to Soria, a Fresno city councilmember, after analyzing the voting trend of the ballots still to be counted.

“It’s been nearly two weeks since Election Day and my opponent and I remain separated by roughly 2,000 votes. Tens of thousands of ballots have been cast in our Assembly race with a few thousand more to count. Unfortunately, it does not appear that we have a path forward based on current trends.”

His status as former sheriff did not help. He trails by 4% in returns from his home Merced County.

Soria: I Will Work With Both Parties to Lift up Valley

Soria declared victory in a news release.

“I am humbled to have the opportunity to fight for you and bring resources home to keep our communities safe and healthy, tackle the housing crisis, create good-paying jobs here at home, and expand educational opportunities for our young people,” Soria said. “I am dedicated to having an open door and I will work with anyone from any party or background to deliver for our Valley.”

“I also want to thank my opponent, Mark Pazin, for a hard-fought race and his congratulatory call. I look forward to working with him.”

Could Perea Start Early?

Annalisa Perea

Soria would be sworn-in to the Assembly on Dec. 5, even though it is before the deadlines for counties to finalize tallies and the state to certify the election (Dec. 9 and 16 respectively).

If Soria leaves the Fresno City Council early — only one elected seat can be represented at a time — it would create a vacancy on the dais, at least until Jan. 3 when Annalisa Perea is sworn in to replace Soria. Perea secured her election bid to succeed Soria in District 1 (west Fresno/Tower District) last June.

The Fresno City Council has the option — found in the city charter (Sec. 305 (d))— to appoint someone, in this case for 29 days.

If that is the option the City Council chooses, it makes sense giving Perea a head start. There is nothing in the charter indicating a minimum waiting period before the appointment is made.

“There’s been discussions but nothing finalized at this point,” Perea texted Politics 101.

Only one City Council meeting is scheduled in the potential interim period, on Dec. 15.

Bill McEwen contributed to this story.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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