Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

By Jim Sanders

Today's biggest election loser?

Minor parties, perhaps.

Of 320 state and federal candidates on today's California ballot, only seven are members of minor parties.

A majority of the minor-party candidates are running for president -- Roseanne Barr, Peace and Freedom Party; Thomas Hoefling, American Independent Party; Jill Stein, Green; and Gary Johnson, Libertarian.

California's new top two primary system allowed only the two highest vote getters in the primary election to advance to today's runoff in state Senate or Assembly races -- and no minor party candidate survived in a district where both a Democrat and Republican squared off in June, records show.

Three minor-party candidates, all from the Peace and Freedom Party, remain in the running for legislative seats: Mary Catherine McIlroy, Senate District 9, based in Alameda County; Lee H. Chauser, Senate District 33, Los Angeles County; and Eugene Ruyle, Assembly District 15, Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Five additional candidates are not tied to any party. Four of them are seeking a congressional seat - Marilyn Singleton, Terry Phillips, David R. Hernandez, and Bill Bloomfield. The lone independent seeking a legislative seat is Chad Walsh.

Only 5 percent of California voters are minor-party members. Twenty-one percent of the electorate expresses no party preference. Democrats lead Republicans in voter registration 43 percent to 30 percent, records show.


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