The Los Angeles Times has endorsed Republican Pete Peterson for secretary of state of California. Here's an excerpt from the endorsement:
Peterson, a Republican, is executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University, and he's spent the last several years training government officials on how to get citizens to participate in decision-making and how to use technology to improve communication with the public. He says he wants to be California's "chief engagement officer," which sounds corny but is a fitting approach to a job that entails making it as easy as possible for people to vote, and to learn about whom and what they're voting for. Unlike some in the Republican Party, Peterson does not support voter ID laws and other supposed anti-fraud initiatives that would suppress legitimate voters. He does bring a Republican's welcome focus on streamlining the office's business registration system and tracking why companies are opening or closing in the state.
The June 3 primary is an open primary, meaning the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will advance to the general election in November. As the Times notes, the secretary of state's race has transcended its reputation as a down-ballot afterthought because the former leading candidate, Democratic state senator Leland Yee, was arrested on charges of political corruption and gun trafficking earlier this year.
After the widely respected Field Poll showed him leading the race last month, Peterson spoke with THE WEEKLY STANDARD about his campaign:
In California, candidates are identified on the ballot not only by their party affiliation but by their occupation. Next to Democrat Alex Padilla’s name is this black mark: “state senator.”
“That used to be a way of showing that the candidate had experience,” Peterson says. “Now, it’s more of a millstone.”
Peterson is hoping to harness what he says is an increasing feeling around the state that one-party rule by Democrats in Sacramento has given corrupt politicians the go-ahead. “I’m framing myself as an outsider,” he says.