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Ron Nehring

Repeal Proposition 14 to restore meaningful choice in California elections

This week California Republican Party delegates received an email from some former legislators with the odd pitch that Republicans should preserve the deeply flawed “top two” primary system better known as Proposition 14.

While we all respect those Republicans who have served in the legislature, this request is truly bizarre given what has happened to our party under this failed system.

Proposition 14 should be repealed – immediately – so every voter in California has the opportunity to vote for a Republican in general elections.

As we all know, last year because of Proposition 14 California voters had the “choice” of voting for either liberal Democrat Kamala Harris or liberal Democrat Loretta Sanchez for U.S. Senate. This is like choosing between vanilla and French vanilla.

A choice between two Democrats is no choice at all.

Under Proposition 14, literally millions of Californians have been denied the opportunity to vote for Republican candidates for Assembly, Senate, Congress, and statewide offices because only two Democrats were in the “top two.”

How can we possibly grow our Republican Party when voters do not have the option of even voting for a Republican candidate when most voters go to the polls in November?

Since the adoption of Proposition 14 Republican strength in the legislature has dropped.

Many of the backers of the “top two” were convinced it would result in the election of more “moderate” Democrats.

Do you see any “moderation” by the Democrats in Sacramento?

With Proposition 14 elections, the result has been the same old union dominated agenda of higher taxes for everyone, cap and trade, worsening regulations, more money wasted on high speed rail, and the list goes on.

Meanwhile, our party has been left too often with no candidates, no representatives of our party, on the ballots for millions of voters.

The solution to Proposition 14 is simple – every recognized party in California should have the ability to place before voters a nominee for every state and federal office in the November election.

To do this, Proposition 14 should be repealed, and replaced with a system that gives every voter the choice of casting a ballot for the nominee of any California recognized political party — nominees chosen by voters in the primary election.

California Republican Party delegates rightly and overwhelmingly voted to oppose Proposition 14 when it appeared on the ballot, and it’s clear that opposition remains firm.

Every voter in California should have the choice of voting for a Republican each November, for every state and federal office.

Every politically engaged Republican should support efforts to repeal this failed system and restore meaningful choice in California elections.

Ron Nehring served as Chairman of the California Republican Party from 2007 to 2011, and was the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor of California in 2014.