California’s Constitution, in Article II, Section 6(a), states that all judicial, school, county, and city offices, including the Superintendent of Public Instruction, are to be nonpartisan.
As a result of this provision, individuals running to be a superior court judge in California, as well as justices facing a retention election every 12 years, run without a party designation, regardless of whether they are actually registered to vote with a particular political party.
Similarly, those individuals running for election to local office, including county board of supervisor, county clerk, county recorder, county sheriff, city council, city mayor, city attorney, etc., all run without political party designation. And, all those running for local school boards, and even statewide for Superintendent of Public Instruction (a constitutional office), do not run as partisans.
In addition, Section 6(b) prohibits a political party or a party central committee from nominating a candidate for nonpartisan office. And, a candidate for a nonpartisan office cannot include his or her political party preference on the ballot for that nonpartisan office. So, even if the candidate for mayor, for example, wanted to include that they were a Democrat or Republican, that designation could not be included on the ballot.
As the Secretary of State’s website provides: “Under the California Constitution, political parties are not entitled to nominate candidates for nonpartisan offices at the primary election, and a candidate nominated for a nonpartisan office at the primary election is not the official nominee of any party for the office in question at the ensuing general election. A candidate for nomination or election to a nonpartisan office may not designate his or her party preference, or lack of party preference, on the primary and general election ballot. The top two vote getters at the primary election advance to the general election for the nonpartisan office.”
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