BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The race to represent Kern’s 16th Senate District was one of the most packed in the Central Valley. Now, that may be changing.

Rob Fuentes, a Democrat and civil rights lawyer from Porterville, announced he is leaving the race to help make sure the district is represented by a Democrat.

“Though I’m stepping aside so our party can allocate all its resources to ensure this seat stays blue, my deep commitment to our community remains the same,” he said in a statement.

This comes just a week after Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) announced she was joining the race for the 16th senate seat. Hurtado is considered the incumbent in the district but she originally put in a bid for the 14th.

This is still one of the Central Valley’s most crowded races. Along with Hurtado, Bryan Osorio, Nicole Parra, Imelda Ceja and David Shepard are still all running. However, Kern County Democratic Party chair Christian Romo told us Ceja is weighing her options regarding staying in the race.