California moves its presidential primary to March in push for electoral relevance

Backing an effort for California to claim a bigger share of the attention from presidential candidates, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill moving the state’s primary elections to early March.

Brown’s decision, announced without fanfare on Wednesday, means the state will hold its presidential primary on March 3, 2020. It’s a reversal from a decision he and Democratic lawmakers made in 2011 to push the state’s primary elections back until June, after years of trying — and failing — to entice major candidates to bring their campaigns to California instead of smaller, more rural states.

Democrats who embraced the push for an early primary said they were motivated in part by the election of President Trump, whose successful bid for the Republican Party nomination was well on its way to reality by the time California voters cast ballots on June 7, 2016.

“We have a greater responsibility and a greater role to promote a different sort of agenda at the national level,” said state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), the author of the bill. “We need to have a greater influence at the national level.”



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