A growing trend in California finds candidates eschewing party labels and running as independents. In three different statewide races, secretary of state, insurance commissioner, and superintendent of public instruction, the candidates have either rejected affiliation with the Democrats and Republicans or are doing their level best to disguise their associations with one of the parties.
In 1988, 83% of candidates claimed to be Democrats or Republicans, but this year, 21% of candidates have no official party designation, and only 72% of candidates are party-affiliated. Here are some of the “non-partisan” candidates;
Secretary of State:
Dan Schnur: former GOP consultant whose campaign slogan is “You Think Independent — Now Vote Independent.”
Pete Peterson: acknowledges GOP ties but champions the fact he has never held public office.
Derek Cressman: formerly worked for Common Cause, ostensibly a non-partisan group.
State Insurance Commissioner:
GOP Ted Raines: calls himself an “independent insurance agent.”
California Superintendent of Public Instruction:
Marshall Tuck: running a radio ad which states; “Sacramento politicians” are the ones who are “drowning our schools in needless bureaucracy.”
There are differences in the methods used; Gaines, Cressman and Peterson are still allied with their parties and can rely on them for help, while Schnur and Tuck have no such security.