Voters Guide: June's primary is a whole new ballgame

With voting districts redrawn, races heat up for state Legislature

When voters go to the polls June 5, they'll be voting in a primary election unlike any in recent history.

For one thing, boundaries have been redrawn for state and U.S. Congressional districts, significantly changing the constituent base for elected representatives.

What's more, thanks to the California electorate's approval of Proposition 14 in 2010, voters no longer have to cast ballots along party lines in a dozen primary races -- for U.S. Congress, state Legislature and top state officials. Instead, all candidates are eligible to receive a voter's endorsement; the top two vote-getters per race will face a run-off in November's general election.

This year, Proposition 14 affects the bids for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and state Senate and Assembly.

Two Democrats with experience in the state Assembly, incumbent Jerry Hill and former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, are competing for the newly redrawn state Senate District 13, along with Democratic teacher Christopher Chiang and Libertarian John Webster. And in the Assembly, one-term Democratic incumbent Rich Gordon is being challenged by Republican Chengzhi "George" Yang, a software engineer; Democratic business owner Geby Espinosa; and Joseph Antonelli Rosas, a network security adviser who declared no party affiliation.

Santa Clara County is also electing a new supervisor and asking voters to weigh in on Measure A, which determines the government branch in control of the county jail.

Those vying to be on the Board of Supervisors are termed-out state Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), two-time Cupertino Mayor Kris Huyilan Wang and Cupertino City Councilman Barry Chang.

Ballots were mailed this week to absentee voters. This year, a new "drive-through" drop off will be available in some areas of the county for returning mail-in ballots, according to Registrar of Voters spokeswoman Elma Rosas.

Related stories:

Competition heats up in race for new state Senate district

Three challenge Rich Gordon in Assembly race

Three elected officials vie for 5th District supervisor seat

Measure A resolves questions over control of jail

— Embarcadero Media staff


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor Next Door
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 12:42 am

The advantage of being a California state senator is not limited to getting so many political contributions from both unions and business establishments, but also cushy paychecks from the state, including tax-free per diem of $145 per day over the Memorial Day weekend by moving meeting schedules around. The state legislators add $64K on their day-off to the California deficit.

Clever? You bet!


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