Democrats were stunned and demoralized when Republican Andy Vidak seized a west-side, Latino, left-leaning state senate seat from them in a bruising special election last summer.

Now they’re desperate to get it back.

Their candidate for what’s now called the 14th Senate District post is Luis Chavez, a Fresno Unified School District trustee and the chief of staff for a Fresno councilman.

It’s a heavily Latino district with nearly 47 percent of voters registered as Democratic, compared to 30 percent Republican.

Retaining the seat is a crucial part of a GOP rebuilding effort in a state where Democrats hold all of the executive offices and until March had supermajorities in the state Assembly and Senate.

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