Seeking Political Sway, California Moves Presidential Primary to March

Governor Jerry Brown at a podium points at someone in the crowd

California is likely to become a major player in the 2020 Presidential primaries after Gov.

Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill Wednesday moving the state's presidential primary from June to March, a change geared toward increasing the influence of the nation's most populous state in selecting presidential nominees.

The most populous USA state, which voted heavily for Democrat Hillary Clinton in November's presidential election, has traditionally held its primary so late that Democratic and Republican voters in other states had essentially already chosen their parties' candidates.

"Candidates will not be able to ignore the largest, most diverse state in the nation as they seek our country's highest office", Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, said Wednesday.

Brown did not issue remarks with his signature, but proponents said their chief motivation was to make California - long a source of campaign donations - more relevant in the nominating process. Though California won't be the only state voting on that date, because of its size, it will certainly be the most influential. When California moved up its election date to February in 2008, it shared the date with 23 other states.

Subscribe to Times of San Diego's free daily email newsletter! . Only the District of Columbia held a primary election later than California in 2016. In the past, the DNC has offered California a 70-delegate incentive to keep the notoriously difficult-to-campaign-in state from holding its primary until late in the nomination process. Hillary Clinton won the primary but Barack Obama took the Democratic presidential nomination.

California's new Democratic Party chair Eric Bauman said the rest of the United States need to remember that the Golden State's Democrats are the ones "defining the progressive agenda for America" and should have their say in presidential politics early on.



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