California Peace & Freedom Party, and Libertarian Party, Have Primary Write-in Candidates

At the June 5 primary in California, there is one U.S. House district in which only one person filed to be on the top-two primary ballot, and there are six legislative districts with only one candidate on the primary ballot. The Peace & Freedom Party, and the Libertarian Party, have each filed some declared write-in candidates in some of these districts.

Under the law, anyone who places second in the primary in these districts will appear on the November ballot. Even one write-in vote is enough to qualify. Write-in votes in the June primary for declared write-in candidates are counted. It is only in November that write-ins are banned for Congress and state office.

In the 37th U.S. House district in Los Angeles County, the only declared write-in is Sean McGary, a Libertarian, so if he polls even one write-in vote, his name will be on the November ballot against incumbent Democrat Karen R. Bass. UPDATE: there are three write-in candidates in this district. Besides McGary, there is Morgan Osborne, a Republican; and Adam Sbheita, a Peace & Freedom Party member. Thanks to Bob Richard for the update.

In the 15th Assembly district in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, Eugene E. Ruyle, a Peace & Freedom Party member, is the only declared write-in candidate, so he will be on the November ballot against incumbent Democrat Nancy Skinner.

In the 9th State Senate district in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, there are two declared write-in candidates, Mary McIlroy of the Peace & Freedom Party, and Lisa Ringer of the Libertarian Party. The Green Party has already endorsed McIlroy. Whoever gets more write-ins will run in November against State Senator Loni Hancock, a Democrat.

In the 33rd State Senate district in Los Angeles County, there are two declared write-in candidates, Lee Chauser of Peace & Freedom, and Matthew Cavanagh, a Democrat. Whoever gets more write-ins will be on the November ballot against Democratic incumbent Ricardo Lara, a Democrat.

There are no declared write-ins in the 14th Assembly district in Contra Costa County, and the 64th Assembly district in Los Angeles County. Therefore, the November ballot for those two races will list one person on the ballot, with no write-in space, so it will be impossible for voters to vote against the incumbents in those two races. Those incumbents are Democrats Susan Bonilla in the 14th district and Isadore Hall in the 64th district.


  1. Quoting from the article:

    “In the 37th U.S. House district in Los Angeles County, the only declared write-in is Sean McGary, a Libertarian, so if he polls even one write-in vote, his name will be on the November ballot against incumbent Democrat Karen R. Bass.”

    The incumbent in the 37th House district is Laura Richardson.

    Karen R. Bass is the incumbent in the 33rd district.

    In which district is McGary running?

  2. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Gee – in some gerrymander districts – just be a declared write-in, vote for yourself and get on the Nov. ballot.

    No stinking nominating petition to worry about — showing that a candidate has that SCOTUS modicum of support stuff.
    P.R. and App.V. —

    Equal nominating petitions — SOME actual work for ballot access.

    ONE election — to END the juvenile top 2 IDIOT system.

  3. #1, the post is correct as it is written. Your reference to Laura Richardson is to the old district 37 (the one in effect in 2010), not the new district 37. Karen Bass is the only name on the primary ballot in June 2012 for US House 37.

  4. #2, there is a petition to worry about. Declared write-in candidates in California need a petition of 40 names (or 65 for statewide office).

  5. Demo Rep · · Reply

    # 2 I stand corrected — since I am NOT a CA election law wonk fanatic.

    What is the BAN utopian ballot access law for a zillion years into the unknown future ???

    Deadline dates, etc. — with what guarantee that any such law will get past the New Age MORON courts – in both facial and applied cases ???

    In other words how much more UNEQUAL stuff can go on and on and on since the MORON SCOTUS 1968 case in Williams v. Rhodes ???

  6. Demo Rep · · Reply

    ANY evil false statements in the CA SOS info – about the top 2 primary or any thing else ???

    Too late to go to court about any such statements (IF any) ???

  7. So if Libertarians filed in the 14th and 64th district would we see Republicans challege the LP with their own write in’s.

  8. Richard Winger · · Reply

    #7, it’s impossible to know what would have happened if Libertarians had filed in those two districts in which only one person will be on the June ballot and there won’t be any declared write-in candidates. If no Republican wanted to run in any event, I don’t believe the presence of a Libertarian write-in candidate would have stimulated Republicans to also file as write-ins.

  9. Demo Rep · · Reply

    Likely result of the gerrymander districts in Nov. 2012 –

    even a bit WORSE indirect minority rule — i.e. in the gerrymander districts having 2 Donkeys or 2 Elephants or any district having a D or R and a third party/independent person.

    i.e. many Donkey / Elephant voters may not vote in such cases = a higher percentage of NON-votes.

    1/2 votes x 1/2 districts = 1/4 control. Stay tuned for the June and Nov math.

  10. According to the Secretary of State’s official list:

    Matthew Cavanagh is not certified in the 33rd Senate District. So Lee Chauser will be on the ballot in November.

  11. Jim Riley · · Reply

    #1 The districts were drawn without reference to the old districts, and were numbered based on their northernmost point. District 8 is mostly in San Bernadino County, including Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Victorville, which are in the southern half of the county. But the district includes Inyo and Mono counties, and is numbered according to the northernmost point of Mono County, which is north of San Francisco.

    There are a couple of cases where incumbents are running against one another. The SOS has designated one as the incumbent, though both use their office designation. I don’t know what the formula used is.

  12. Jim Riley · · Reply

    Nebraska permits candidates to petition on to the Top 2 general election ballot, in cases where fewer than two qualify, or a candidate dies. The number of signatures is substantial.

    Alternatively, California could use Washington’s system of permitting write-in candidates in the general election, but banning sore losers; and require perhaps 45% to secure election.

  13. Jim Riley · · Reply

    California should centralize its system of party endorsements for voter-nominated offices. Sample ballots are printed by counties, but they use lists of candidates supplied by the SOS. Candidates actually file with counties, the counties send the filings to the SOS, and the SOS then sends the composite listings back to all counties for a district. The SOS web site also shows the 10-year registration history of all candidates.

    It should be reasonably easy to have the SOS collect endorsements, display them on the SOS website, and distribute to the counties for inclusion on the sample ballot.

  14. Demo Rep · · Reply

    How many gerrymander districts will have 2 super-extremists nominated – even if they are both Donkeys or Elephants ???

    See the now infamous 2012 Egypt Prez top 2 primary.

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