<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California.
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June 5 primary: the most important in the state’s history?

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While there isn’t much mystery in terms of which presidential candidates are going to snag their parties's nomination — Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee and President Obama is running unopposed — there are a few other important matters to be decided this June 5.

According to Tony Quinn, the co-editor of the California Target Book, which tracks congressional and legislative races in the state, this June’s primary is “absolutely one of the most important primaries in our state’s history.” Why? There are two new voter-approved landmark measured passed in 2008 that might shake things up a bit.

For the first time, candidates who receive the most votes advance to the November general election, regardless of party affiliation and the district lines have been redrawn by a citizens committee, not elected officials. GOP consultant Rob Stutzman says this makes the June 5 primary “a wake-up call” for both parties. Democratic consultant Steve Maviglio likens it to the first round of March Madness.

Will the result of redistricting mean any seat could be up for grabs? Voters will also decide this June whether they want to tweak term-limits (Prop 28) because of criticism that candidates don’t have enough time in office to build relationships and create strong laws, as well as whether to increase the tax on cigarettes (Prop 29) to fund cancer research. Patt walks us through this twisty-turvy primary.


Carla Marinucci, political writer, San Francisco Chronicle