Bruce McPherson, a former state legislator and secretary of state who is now seeking a seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, is quitting the Republican Party, citing the "strident" nature of partisan politics.
"That's who I am," McPherson was quoted as saying by the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "During my years in the California Legislature, I was widely recognized as the most independent voice in either the Assembly or the Senate. Now more than ever I think we need leaders who make decisions for the community and the people, not what's best for the party."
"It's as strident as I've ever known it to be," McPherson said of partisan politics. "I don't want to be identified as right or left."
McPherson is a moderate former editor of the Sentinel who was said to be the only Republican who can win in Santa Cruz County.
He's now locked in a runoff duel with Democrat Eric Hammer, having failed by 48 votes to achieve an outright majority and election in the June 5 primary election. He said his decision is not connected to the looming runoff.
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher abandoned the GOP for a no-party preference label before the San Diego mayor's race in June. He finished third.
As officials continued tallying ballots from the June 5 primary, Proposition 29's tobacco tax was trailing Wednesday by only 13,327 votes out of nearly 4.9 million counted. In the Sacramento area's 6th Assembly District, Republican Andy Pugno was 132 votes behind Democrat Regy Bronner in their bid to challenge GOP incumbent Beth Gaines in November.
"It was actually surreal. It was amazing. I still can't believe he talked to me."
CARLY BURNS, 20-year-old Granite Bay resident who took an impromptu call from Joe Biden on Tuesday after her parents met the vice president at a fundraiser in downtown Sacramento
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