Second Annual Student-Run Press Conference - February 26, 1998

1998 marks an important year for Californians and California government. Voters will go to the polls first in June and again in November to choose candidates for several important statewide offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and four members of the Board of Equalization.

In June 1998, California will return to the open primary system to select candidates who will run in the November general election. The June open primary will allow voters to vote for a candidate who is outside of the voter's registered party. This means, for instance, that a Democrat can vote for a Republican candidate or that a Republican can vote for a candidate from the Libertarian party. Those candidates from each party in each office with the most votes will go on to run in the November general election. This change in the June primary from a closed primary to an open primary is the result of Proposition 198, passed in 1996 by California voters.

Proposition 140, the term limits law passed in 1990, imposes a limit of three two-year terms on state Assembly members and a limit of two four-year terms on state Senators. Recently challenged, but upheld in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, this law is pushing several key members of the legislature out of office. As a result, many of these legislators have already declared their candidacy for statewide offices in the 1998 elections.

These propositions reflect the concerns and efforts of California voters to reform the state's political process. Both will have a unique impact on the 1998 elections. Join us at this Student-Run Press Conference where high school Students interview candidates who are running in some of California's most closely watched races.