Melissa Hurtado was confident she could unseat State Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford.
“I felt positive going into Election Day that I could come out winning, and I felt that all along,” Hurtado.
But what Hurtado never imagined was an 8-point victory, reflective of a blue wave that has swept across California.
On Monday evening, the Associated Press declared her the winner, which officially gave Democrats a two-thirds supermajority in the Senate. Hurtado claimed victory earlier in the day but was at a loss for words on the phone as news of the AP’s announcement sunk in.
Asked what she most wanted people to know about her, she couldn’t find the words to describe what she was feeling. “I want people to call me,” she finally muttered.
Hurtado’s win was perhaps the most surprising for those who haven’t been following the race in the Fresno area. But she wasn’t alone in the victory column Monday night.
She was joined by Democrat Anna Caballero, who was competing against Rob Poythress for an open Senate seat in the GOP-held Modesto district.
The AP also announced Monday that Assemblyman Rudy Salas would hold onto his seat. With his win, Democrats hold onto their supermajority in the Assembly. The party will soon have its largest advantage in the chamber in 40 years, dealing a major blow to an ever-diminishing group of Republicans. Democrats now outnumber Republicans 55-18 and are in prime position to hold onto at least one of their two Assembly seats, while also picking up as many as five GOP seats.