LA Times: Why the Harris-Sanchez Senate race is a good argument for California’s top-two system (Oct. 8, 2016)

The LA Times recently published an Op Ed challenging the merits of the top-two election system.  My letter to the editor in response was published today and follows below:

Why the Harris-Sanchez Senate race is a good argument for California’s top-two system

Larry N. Gerston is correct that our state is heading toward one-party rule, but his diagnosis of the cause — the top-two election system — couldn’t be more wrong. The top-two reform is doing exactly what was intended: ensuring that all voters have a say in who represents them despite the political parties’ best efforts to keep people focused on the party, not the person. (“Top-two reform tilts California toward one-party rule,” Opinion, Oct. 5)

The reason for the decline in viable Republican candidates making it to the November ballot in California is because their national party is trying to sell things that our electorate isn’t buying. We Californians reject candidates who sound selfish on taxes, homophobic on family values and racist on immigration.

In California, there hasn’t been a competitive race for the U.S. Senate in more than 20 years because voter registration numbers dictated that Democratic candidates would win. How great is it that the party title in this year’s Senate race has taken a back seat to the individuals themselves?

If Gerston wants more Republicans or Libertarians to appear on a November ballot, I suggest he work on enlisting candidates from those parties who appeal to Californians. And, if they’re running for federal office, at least know where Aleppo is.

Bill Bloomfield, Manhattan Beach