Fran Florez drops from 16th Senate District race

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Fran Florez has announced that she will be dropping out of the race for the 16th Senate District.

Here is the statement that she released via Twitter:

"If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail." - Winston Churchill

I have to announce today that I will be leaving the race for the 16th Senate District.

As I have reflected on this race to date, I confess that I am disappointed that our leaders have not allowed this race to proceed without putting the significant resources of the Democratic Party behind a single candidate. I have been following the polls in the media as well and my campaign has been consistently listed as being "ahead" and in great position to win the primary. I must also admit to a great sense of frustration that this election cannot be decided by the people and through candidates marshaling their own local resources and volunteers.

My philosophy is simple but realistic - I always look to the logical and optimistic side of life; however, I understand that the business of politics is a complex animal and in most cases, often does not follow logic.

An important lesson is at hand. In 2010, I ran against another Democrat (Pete Parra) and the Democrat Party let us fight that battle without picking a side. That election taught me that while I won the battle, the Democrats lost the war. Our local residents were divided and in frustration, did not come out to vote in the next general election because they felt that their favorite Democrat lost. Ultimately, this cost our party a seat in the Legislature and we spent a significant amount of time and effort reuniting as Democrats.

Division and infighting are two of the largest threats to our party – and based on my years of experience, I have no doubt that this is exactly what will happen in this special election.

So, with all of that in mind, and with special thanks to all of those who have been with me in this and many other battles, today I step out of this important special election for Senate District 16. I am announcing this now in order to ensure that there is time to remove myself from the ballot and, most importantly, prevent history in the Valley from repeating itself.

This seat is much too important to lose to infighting in our party – now or in a general election.

Over the past two days, I have spent many hours calling my most loyal supporters – they have told me, in person, that they are torn between personal loyalty and the wishes of the Democratic leadership. I will not force my friends and backers to make that choice - especially one that threatens to divide the Democrats over two strong candidates and could potentially lead to a loss of the Senate seat.

Real leaders know when to step up and lead from the front and when their skills are best utilized by stepping aside and pointing the way to victory. I see a clear victory for Democrats in the making, and I am pointing us in the direction of "unity."

I stand ready to work to maintain a powerful and effective Democratic seat - one that my son, Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, proudly served for nearly a decade.

I am honored to continue to serve as I have done for over two decades. I know, given my experience, that every exit is an entry somewhere else.

Thank you for your support!

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