Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich wants California to stop being “at the back of the bus” and have a greater say in presidential primaries by making the state vote far earlier than this year’s scheduled June balloting.
Whether it’s Trump, Cruz or anyone else, it’s usually likely races have been pretty much decided with most states having voted before anyone goes to the polls in California. That may be different on the Republican side this unique election year as the GOP battle may not be decided by the time of the convention, but Antonovich complained about the effect of the June primary in the state during past years.
“The decision is being made without California’s citizens voting for their choice,” termed out Republican Antonovich told City News Service. “Having it changed would be in their best interest. California is at the back of the bus.”
With no Republican holding statewide office, Antonovich’s powerful local office makes him one of the state’s top elected GOP officials, even though he’s in his last term due to term limits.
California held its presidential primaries in 2008 on Feb. 5, part of that year’s “Super Tuesday,” which also included primaries and caucuses in 21 other states. California held another primary that year for legislative and congressional offices.
A bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011 moved the state’s presidential primary back to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June, saving the state the estimated $100 million cost of having two primary elections in the same year.
When asked if California’s June 7 primary could play a meaningful role in determining the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Antonovich, a former California Republican Party chairman, said, “We’ll just have to see how it plays out.”
Antonovich had endorsed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his party’s presidential nomination. Perry suspended his campaign on Sept. 11. Antonovich has not made another endorsement. He said he would support his party’s nominee.
Barred from running for re-election to the Board of Supervisors because of term limits, Antonovich is running for the state Senate in the 25th District, which stretches from Sunland-Tujunga to Upland.
—City News Service
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