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The Primary Election Moves to March This Year: Voting to Begin in Early February

While voters have until March 3 to cast their vote, because of changes to the voting process, the election season really begins in just a few weeks when mail ballots are distributed in early February.


So what’s on the ballot? Races for state and federal offices in Carson don’t look particularly exciting in 2020. Incumbent Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-San Pedro) has drawn three primary opponents, but none with significant political experience. Incumbent State Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) will face a lone challenger, Fatima Iqbal-Zubair. Gipson faced a challenger Theresa Sanford in 2018, but was handily re-elected with nearly 85% of the vote.


There are, however, several very important and interesting contests this spring. Among them:


Presidential Primary Election


The field of Democrat candidates has thinned a bit, notably with California’s Senator Kamala Harris dropping out of the race in December and the most prominent Latino candidate, Julian Castro, dropping out in early January. There are, as of this writing, still about a dozen active candidates in the Democratic field, and Californians have a huge opportunity to impact the race with the primary election moved to March this year.


President Trump also has a pair of primary challengers, former Congressman Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld.


County Supervisor


Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will be leaving office due to term limits in 2020. Carson Mayor Albert Robles recently joined a field including former Assembly Speaker and current L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, State Senator Holly Mitchell, and former L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry. The top two candidates with the most votes will move on to a November run-off election, see more on this race in our article “Mayor Robles Running for County Supervisor.”


L.A. County Fire Parcel Tax


Voters will be asked to decide yet another parcel tax on the March ballot, this time to fund fire emergency services for the L.A. County Fire Department. This department serves the City of Carson and thus Carson property owners would be subject to the tax. It proposes a 6 cent-per-square-foot tax, so a 1,500 square foot home would pay about $90 a year, plus 2% in annual increases.


This is the fourth major parcel tax put before L.A. County voters in the last 4 years. In 2016, voters approved Measure A, to fund parks and open space. In 2018, voters narrowly approved Measure W, to fund flood control and storm water issues. And in 2019, voters rejected Measure EE, a proposal to increase funding to the L.A. Unified School District. Like these measures, the Fire Districts proposed tax would require two-thirds of voters to approve it.


What About the City Council?


Carson’s City Council will face elections, but not until November. While the ongoing transition to Council Districts is still unfolding, it is expected that Carson will have two council seats up for election, plus a contest for Mayor.

Are You Registered to Vote?

  • The presidential primary election is March 3, 2020

  • Check if you’re registered to vote at voterstatus.sos.ca.gov

  • Deadline to register or re-register is Feb. 18, 2020

  • Voting at vote centers begins Feb. 22, 2020

  • You can register online at registertovote.ca.gov or obtain registration materials at local libraries, post offices or DMV

  • Call (800) 345-VOTE for more information

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What Else is on the Ballot?

In addition to the highly watched Presidential campaign, and the local offices discussed in this edition of the Observer, Carson voters are being asked to weigh in on a host of local and state ballot

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