“A state as populous and diverse as California should not be an afterthought. Moving up the California primary in 2020 makes sense and will give California voters a more significant role. By holding our primary earlier, we will ensure that issues important to Californians are prioritized by presidential candidates from all political parties,” said Secretary Padilla.
“California is the largest, most diverse state in the nation with one of the largest economies in the world,” said Senator Ricardo Lara. “Yet Californians’ voices are silenced when it comes to choosing presidential nominees. California is leading the nation on clean air, criminal justice reform, and expanding healthcare for all, and moving up our presidential primary will ensure our state’s voters are heard in the national debate.”
Source: California Secretary of State
State Senator Ricardo Lara has introduced a bill that would effectively make California the third state with a Presidential primary, behind only the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. Last year, the primary was held long after the Republican contest had resolved itself, and the Associated Press had already called the Democratic side for Hillary Clinton the day before. As the Secretary notes in his release of support for the bill, the 2008 primary had been moved up to March and saw its highest participation in nearly three decades. Effectively, the bill sets a new primary date as the third Tuesday in March, but gives the Governor leeway to move it earlier if other states try to jump in front.