California Democrats struggle to keep state’s primary relevant

California likes to think of itself as the nation’s most important state, with its movies, music and technological prowess shaping lives across the American landscape.

But when it comes to presidential primary elections, the state holds little sway because Californians don’t vote until June, near the end of the primary calendar.

Now, the state’s top election official is spending some political capital in an effort to move up the primary to March, making it the third state in the country to weigh in on presidential candidates.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced this week that he’s backing a bill to move the 2020 primary date from the first Tuesday in June to the third Tuesday in March. That, he said, would put the Golden State’s primary right after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would authorize the governor to move the primary date even earlier if other states followed suit. And the primary for state and local elections would be held on the same date — even in nonpresidential election years.

Read the whole story in the Mercury News


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