We received a complaint this week from someone concerned that The Press Democrat dual endorsement in the races for the 2nd Assembly and 10th Assembly seats could throw off voters.
“I think the dual endorsement and the statement are misleading to voters, as they imply that voters will get to vote for two people. This is not the case. . . . I don’t care who you endorse, but if you cause one voter to vote for two candidates, you are disenfranchising them, since the dual vote will not count for either candidate.”
Disenfranchising them? Really?
Well, it was certainly not our intent to make this any more confusing than it is. So, let’s be clear. As it states on the ballot atop each contest, voters are to “vote for one” candidate. Don’t vote for two.
In most partisan races, including the 2nd Congressional District race, we only endorsed one candidate. But that is new. In the past, we have always endorsed two candidates in the primary – one Democrat and one Republican.
But this year, the election is different. This time voters will see the names and parties of all of the candidates on their ballot, not just the candidates in their party. That’s because this time the top two candidates – not necessarily just the top Democrat and the top Republican – will face off in the fall. The hope is this will encourage the election of more moderate candidates.
As we stated in our editorial on the 10th Assembly District race, it is our hope that the fall runoff will feature Assemblyman Michael Allen and San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine. That’s why we chose to endorse both of them – although voters can vote for only one.
Another way to look at our endorsement is like this: If you are a conservative or moderate voter, vote for Levine. If you’re more of a liberal, vote for Allen.
The same is true of the race in the 2nd Assembly District. As we stated, it is our hope that the fall run-off features Assemblyman Wes Chesbro and Sonoma County Planning Commissioner Tom Lynch. Chesbro would be our pick for those on the left of the political spectrum. Lynch is our pick for those more in the center or right – or just for those hoping to see pension reform.
As we noted in our editorial, we’re holding out on picking just one candidate in hopes that these legislators will come through with a package of pension reform measures this summer. During our candidate interviews, both Allen and Chesbro spoke optimistically that something would be coming out in August. We’ll see.
In the meantime, just vote for one candidate.
- Paul Gullixson