Non-Partisan Primary Gives AD15 Voters a Choice in November
In 2010 California voters passed Proposition 14, reforming primary elections that were traditionally conducted for the partisan purpose of selecting party nominees into a nonpartisan top-two primary system.
Under the old system, there was a separate primary election for each political party, meaning unaffiliated voters could only vote on one party’s ballot.
California's non-partisan primary is now conducted as one election, where all voters and candidates participate in a single primary election using a single ballot.
What does this mean for voters in Assembly District 15? Increased choice, and in turn, more accountable representatives.
In AD15, Democrats outnumber Republicans 8 to 1, while No Party Preference, or unaffiliated voters, outnumber Republicans by more than 2 to 1. Under the old primary system, this would have ensured that the Democrat who won in the primary election would win on election day. The election would have been decided in June, not November.
Instead, eight candidates ran in the June primary election, with Republican and Democratic candidates competing against each other to represent all voters - not just voters registered in their political party.
Two Democrats advanced to the general election, Tony Thurmond and Elizabeth Echols, creating competition in a once safe Democratic district.
Now, instead of the winner of the Democratic primary getting a "free ride" into the general election, all voters have an opportunity in the general election to decide which of the two individual Democrats will better represent them, including the nonpartisan and Republican voters.