legislation that could clear the way for major changes in San Diego County elections passed the state Senate Thursday and is headed to the governor for consideration. The bill by Assemblyman Todd Gloria, D-San Diego, would allow for a charter amendment that would require races for county offices to be determined in the November general election, regardless of the results in the June primary. The bill only applies to San Diego County. It passed the Senate by 23-14.
Currently, politicians can be elected into those offices if they receive more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary. But if the charter is amended as authorized by Gloria’s bill, the top-two candidates in the primary will face each other in the November general election regardless of the primary outcome.
Besides extending the campaign season in some races, the change would likely benefit Democratic candidates. Turnout among that party’s voters is historically highest in general elections, particularly in years when there is a race for president. The county offices are nonpartisan, but campaigns often follow party lines.