An effort to require political advertisements to display their top donors stalled in the final hours of the legislative session Friday after its supporters said it didn’t have the backing needed to earn passage.

Weeks after the tight finish in the June controller’s race highlighted major weaknesess in California’s recount law, legislation to create taxpayer-funded recounts in close contests has bogged down in partisan fighting and is dead for the year.

Democratic Rep. Ami Bera, facing a tough challenge from former GOP Rep. Doug Ose, has released a TV ad that reintroduces him to voters and seeks to make the case that he’s delivered on his campaign promises. The 30-second ad, “People Come First,” which is running in the suburban Sacramento district, touches on the congressman donating his pay to charity during the partial federal government shutdown.

The California Senate’s curb on end-of-session fundraising has sharply cut into the flow of political cash to senators’ campaign accounts, even as some in the upper house run afoul of a rule that bans contributions from donors that have Capitol lobbyists.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, the Republican candidate for California controller, said Tuesday she would bring an independent voice to the state’s top fiscal office, and later backed that up by refusing to commit to her party’s candidate for governor, Neel Kashkari.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, the Republican candidate for state controller, refused Tuesday to commit to supporting GOP guberantorial nominee Neel Kashkari this fall, saying she is “still evaluating” the candidates for governor several weeks after Kashkari annoyed many Fresno leaders by going undercover there posing as a homeless man looking for a job.

A Washington-based Republican group working to elect down-ballot candidates for state office has added two California legislative contenders to its latest top 14 races to watch this fall.

Assemblyman Richard Pan is facing fellow Sacramento Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson this fall in the state Senate race to replace Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. With the legislative session in its final days and the Nov. 4 election looming, Pan sat down Monday with The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Bureau.

Crossroads GPS, the outside group affiliated with GOP strategist Karl Rove, is out with a television ad in Sacramento County, yoking freshman Democratic Rep. Ami Bera to the federal Affordable Care Act. Criticism of the controversial health care overhaul has been a major campaign theme of Bera’s GOP opponent, former Rep. Doug Ose, who favors repealing and replacing the law.

When consumer advocates were preparing a fall ballot initiative to raise the sum victims can recover in medical malpractice lawsuits, they considered tacking on an inducement that would resonate with voters across California.

When Gov. Jerry Brown announced this week that he would debate Republican Neel Kashkari once – but only once – ahead of the Nov. 4 election, his campaign said Brown could make time for only one debate because of his “demanding and time-consuming job.”

Members of the state health insurance exchange on Thursday came out strongly against a fall ballot initiative to give rate-regulation authority to the elected insurance commissioner, with some requesting the board issue formal opposition.

Even as voting by mail becomes increasingly common in California elections, more mail ballots are not being counted, according to a study of mail voting in three counties, including Sacramento.

If you are running for public office in Sacramento, Yolo, Placer or El Dorado counties, The Bee invites you to share information about yourself and your credentials in our upcoming voter guides on www.sacbee.com and in the newspaper.

Gov. Jerry Brown will debate Republican Neel Kashkari in Sacramento early next month, the only debate the incumbent governor will participate in ahead of the November election, his campaign said Monday.

Senate leader Darrell Steinberg’s effort to ask voters whether the Legislature should be able to yank the pay of lawmakers who are suspended for allegations of dishonorable behavior will not make it onto the November ballot, marking a setback for the Sacramento Democrat who proposed the constitutional amendment in response to criminal allegations this year against a trio of senators.

After months of political wrangling, Democratic Rep. Ami Bera and Republican Doug Ose will square off Oct. 8 in a debate at KVIE-TV studios, showcasing a race drawing national attention because of the suburban Sacramento County district’s close political divide.

A man who once campaigned to be governor of California – despite convictions for manslaughter and assault with intent to commit rape – now faces life in prison if convicted of shooting his neighbor and killing a horse.

Potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s lead over a crowded prospective Republican field has narrowed and her support has slipped below 50 percent, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

The California Supreme Court on Monday effectively blocked a November advisory ballot measure on the merits of unlimited independent campaign spending, dashing some Democrats’ hopes that the measure would boost voter turnout in what could be an otherwise staid election.

El Dorado County’s growth wars are headed to the November ballot with unexpected drama, quixotic political alliances and developer dollars flowing in conflicting directions. Local environmentalists and advocates have qualified separate November initiatives – Measure M and Measure O – that seek to protect rural lifestyles, prevent gridlock on Highway 50 and stop traffic-inducing subdivisions in the Sierra foothills region.

Campaign staff for the incoming leader of the California Senate accepted a $25,000 contribution on the first day of the Senate’s self-imposed fundraising blackout period that began Aug. 1.

From water politics to the contours of his Senate race against Assemblyman Richard Pan to the wisdom of term limits, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, had plenty to talk about when he visited The Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Bureau on Friday. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

Members of the California Legislature pulled in more than $56 million in campaign cash from January 2013 through June, state data shows.

Maryland’s Board of Elections fell one vote short last month of the super-majority needed to inch the state toward on-line voting, despite cyber experts’ warnings that such balloting could easily be hacked, with votes even switched to other candidates.

Legislators return from summer recess today to a mountain of unfinished business. They have until the end of the month to decide whether to pass bills and send them to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Democrats in the California Capitol have become increasingly willing in recent years to take money from cigarette companies, a source of campaign funding that was once so controversial it remains shunned by their state party organization.

State Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, had a 17-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage at the end of June over educator and institute director Pete Peterson, Padilla’s Republican opponent in the race to succeed termed-out Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

Assemblyman John A. Pérez’s campaign for state controller unleashed an expensive blast of TV ads in the weeks before the June 3 primary election, according to the campaign’s latest filing.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari was five days into his job search and down to the last $5.75 when he turned to a homeless shelter for food.

A California appeals court on Thursday tossed out a lawsuit seeking to block a ballot measure asking whether Congress should overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United campaign finance decision.

GOP candidate Neel Kashkari – who lags far behind Jerry Brown in opinion polls and campaign fundraising – announced Thursday that he had just spent a week on the streets of Fresno, sleeping on park benches and posing as a regular guy looking for work.

An independent write-in candidate who ran in the primary to succeed retiring Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging California’s ban on write-in contenders in the general election.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari said Thursday that the recent week he spent sleeping on the streets and looking for work in Fresno underscores the state’s continued economic struggles and the need for new leadership.

In an uphill slog to unseat Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, Republican Neel Kashkari had $198,000 in the bank and about $164,000 in debt as of June 30, according to his latest financial report filed Thursday.

MEXICO CITY – Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday he has not yet decided if he will debate Republican Neel Kashkari in this year’s lopsided gubernatorial race, while Brown’s wife, Anne Gust Brown, suggested Kashkari is getting abundant air time with his frequent appearances on talk radio.

Both Sacramento City Councilman Cohn and Elk Grove City Councilman Cooper are Democrats. They are vying with fellow Democrats, Sacramento City Councilmen Kevin McCarty and Darrell Fong, to claim two Assembly seats currently held by Democrats, Assemblymen Richard Pan and Roger Dickinson, who are seeking an open state Senate post.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who is pushing a ballot measure to give him the power to regulate health insurance rates, released an analysis Tuesday showing that health insurance costs for individuals increased dramatically over the last year.

The bitterness, dysfunction and strangeness of a supervisorial special election roil El Dorado County these days. After a politically charged prosecution, four-term Supervisor Ray Nutting was ousted from office over misdemeanor convictions. His wife, is now running for his seat, even as Nutting tries to halt the Sept. 9 special election.

The Sacramento TV market’s largest broadcast stations netted more than $623,000 in ad revenue from federal, state and local campaign committees in the weeks before last month’s primary election, public filings show.

Gov. Jerry Brown continues to expand his massive financial advantage over Republican Neel Kashkari in his bid for re-election, reporting Thursday that he had $22.4 million on hand as of June 30.

Opponents filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to remove from the fall ballot a nonbinding question asking whether Congress should overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United campaign finance decision.

Assemblyman John A. Pérez abandoned his recount in the California controller’s race Friday, ending an effort to overcome a narrow third-place finish after picking up only a handful of votes amid increasing impatience from Democratic activists and others worried about its impact on the fall election.

An email to Democratic donors Thursday urged people to help Betty Yee, the Democrat who narrowly claimed second place in last month’s primary for state controller, but who now “is losing valuable fundraising time” because of “an arduous recount.”

Republicans plan to make the 2014 campaign for control of Congress a referendum on President Barack Obama, hoping discontent will help them win control of the Senate and hold their majority in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Ami Bera reported raising more than $700,000 in the latest quarter, boosting his cash on hand to nearly 10 times that of Republican rival Doug Ose.

Gov. Jerry Brown will allow the placement of an advisory question on the November ballot asking whether Congress should amend the Constitution to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United decision, but he did so only grudgingly.

Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, said his campaign will deliver 1.3 million signatures to elections offices around the state this week. Slightly more than 800,000 valid voter signatures are needed to qualify for the ballot. One political consultant says it’s time to take seriously the proposal to carve California into six states.

Following heavy lobbying from both sides, the California Democratic Party’s executive board has voted to endorse Proposition 45, a measure to give the state insurance commissioner regulatory power over health insurance rates.

Neel Kashkari, the Republican long-shot challenger to Gov. Jerry Brown, has repeatedly served as a guest host on talk radio stations to get his name – and his views – out to the public.

While a historically small number of Californians participated on Election Day, more of them than ever cast their votes by mail.

When John A. Pérez pored over voting results to determine which of California’s 22,353 precincts should be recounted in his tight battle for state controller, his campaign chose the ones in which he did well.

California politics is meandering into uncharted procedural and legal territory with former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez’s go-for-broke decision to seek a vote recount in his duel with Board of Equalization member Betty Yee for a spot on the November state controller ballot.

Election officials across California on Monday began preparing for a historically large hand recount in the state controller’s race amid uncertainty about how to coordinate an effort involving thousands of precincts in 15 counties.

Former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez filed paperwork Sunday seeking a partial recount of last month’s close vote for controller, making an expensive, contentious and potentially time-consuming bid to advance to the November runoff.

Having passed an on-time budget and concluded their committee hearings, California lawmakers have escaped Sacramento for a few weeks and retired to their districts for a July recess. When they return, much of the remaining legislative session will be devoted to trying to get a new water bond on the November ballot.

Jennifer Nutting hailed her embattled husband, ex-Supervisor Ray Nutting, as her “hero” and will run for his vacant seat.

Assembly Republicans have chosen their next leader. Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen of Riverbank will take over as head of the caucus from Connie Conway of Tulare. Conway said the transition will take place after the November elections, in which Republicans will be focused on picking up enough seats to erode or eliminate the two-thirds majority Democrats carved out in 2012.

A month after the primary election, Betty Yee has finished fewer than 500 votes ahead of fellow Democrat John A. Pérez for second place in the state controller’s race, raising the prospect of a costly and time-consuming statewide recount.

On the one-year anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a core provision of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, Democrats and civil rights groups stepped up their push for a congressional fix.

Sen. Thad Cochran won the Mississippi Republican Senate nomination Tuesday, edging upstart challenger Chris McDaniel and the tea party movement.

Gov. Jerry Brown leads Republican Neel Kashkari by 20 percentage points in the general election race for governor, according to a new Field Poll, with Kashkari struggling to raise his profile despite a heated primary contest.

They’ve been counting votes for three weeks in the race for California controller, and Democrat Betty Yee has gone from second place to third place, to fourth place and back to third.

A bill barring California lawmakers from raising money in the final days of the legislative session faltered in an Assembly committee on Tuesday.

Sen. Kay Hagan on Tuesday again became a co-sponsor of a bill that would require corporations and advocacy groups to disclose their donors for political ads. An earlier version of the bill was introduced in the Senate in 2012, but it had no Republican co-sponsors, and it went nowhere.

Nonprofit executive director Rick Jennings has won a seat on the Sacramento City Council, defeating former Fire Chief Julius Cherry in a closely watched race in the Pocket, Greenhaven and Valley Hi neighborhoods.

Shiva Frentzen, a Cameron Park Community Services District director, has announced her candidacy for El Dorado County’s District 2 supervisor seat to be filled in a September special election.

The Lassen Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to adopt a resolution that places a proposed three-term limit before voters in November. Supervisors Jim Chapman and Aaron Albaugh voted against the resolution.

Nutting was acquitted of felony charges, but the judge determined the misdemeanor offenses constituted “misconduct in office” and declared his seat vacant June 6.

For the first time in years, the Sacramento Public Library isn’t trying to figure out how to do more with less.

Rocklin was fined $2,000 by the California Fair Political Practices Commission last week for blanketing households with a newsletter that contained photos of City Council members, a violation of the Political Reform Act.

By this time four years ago, the Republican nominee for governor was moving to reshape her message for the general election and a Democratic-leaning electorate.

Nonprofit executive director Rick Jennings is on the verge of winning a closely-watched Sacramento City Council race in the district representing the Pocket, Greenhaven and Valley Hi neighborhoods.

Sacramento City Council candidate Ellen Cochrane congratulated her competitors in a blog post over the weekend. She thanked her supporters. And she said she was thinking about which candidate to support in the November run-off election.

Some political experts suspect that Republican David Evans, whose surprising performance put a trio of far better-known politicians on their heels, was aided by something more fundamental: his name.

Ellen Cochrane apparently thinks 77 votes is an insurmountable gap. Cochrane, a teacher and one of seven candidates for the City Council race in east Sacramento and South Natomas, posted a concession message on her website over the weekend. She currently stands in third place in a race in which the top two finishers will move on to the November runoff election.

Turnout in Tuesday’s primary election is expected to approach just a quarter of registered voters, comfortably eclipsing a 6-year-old record for voter apathy in California.

Republican Art Moore has advanced to a same-party showdown with Rep. Tom McClintock in the Roseville-based 4th Congressional District.

Nonprofit executive director Rick Jennings was still hovering above 50 percent of the vote in the City Council race in the Pocket, Greenhaven and Valley Hi neighborhoods in updated results Friday. However, with potentially hundreds more ballots left to count, it was still too early to determine whether he would maintain a majority and avoid a run-off in November with former city fire chief Julius Cherry.

Sacramento County elections officials report that 77,700 ballots remain to be counted following Tuesday’s primary election.

Sacramento residents didn’t vote on the Kings arena plan Tuesday night, and Mayor Kevin Johnson wasn’t up for re-election. But both did pretty well at the polls.

Davis voters on Tuesday repealed a complex series of water rate increases designed to pay for a major project tapping into the Sacramento River.

Republican Art Moore believes he captured enough votes in Tuesday’s primary to advance to an intraparty clash with Rep. Tom McClintock in the foothills-based 4th Congressional District.

Before she scooted out of town Wednesday for a quick overnight hiking vacation in the mountains, the victorious Anne Marie Schubert was more than happy to acknowledge another winner in the Sacramento County district attorney’s race.

Neel Kashkari’s campaign for governor was on the brink of irrelevance two months ago.

The November lineup in the race to be California’s next controller remained unknown Wednesday as four candidates finished within three percentage points of each other, while fall contests for secretary of state, attorney general and other statewide contests fell into place with little drama.

The costly and ideologically charged race for state superintendent of public instruction will continue to November. Despite a big push of support by the California Teachers Association in the final weeks of the campaign, incumbent Tom Torlakson fell short of clinching reelection for the nonpartisan office in Tuesday’s primary.

He’s about $98 billion short of the competition. But Tom Steyer is the angel the Democrats have been looking for.

The two candidates who will face off in November in El Dorado County’s closely watched District 4 supervisorial race both promise to preserve the county’s rustic flavor. Otherwise, the two survivors of Tuesday’s primary election offer stark contrasts for voters in a district whose politics simmer over growth and development issues.

Charges of corruption and gun-running conspiracy notwithstanding, almost a tenth of California voters Tuesday thought suspended state Sen. Leland Yee should become secretary of state.

Anne Marie Schubert declared victory in the Sacramento district attorney’s race Tuesday night, winning by a wide margin over two opponents in the first seriously-contested campaign for the county prosecutor’s office in 20 years.

Sacramento Councilman Jay Schenirer, representing neighborhoods across the city’s south side, won a second term Tuesday night, while nonprofit executive director Rick Jennings is on the verge of grabbing the council seat representing the Pocket, Greenhaven and Valley Hi neighborhoods.

How did Sacramento voters react to the primary results? See how the elections unfolded on Twitter in the Sacramento region, including in the key races for Sacramento County district attorney and the 7th congressional district.

Neel Kashkari eclipsed rival Republican Tim Donnelly in the governor’s race late Tuesday, while Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown was poised to finish first by an enormous margin.

Republican Doug Ose had little trouble dispatching a pair of GOP rivals Tuesday, advancing to a fall showdown with Democratic Rep. Ami Bera for the right to represent suburban Sacramento County’s 7th Congressional District.

Voters approved Tuesday a measure to give greater protection to California’s open meeting and public records laws by putting them in the state Constitution.

Get caught up on the key races in California's primary election and see results for local and state contests.

It’s Election Day and the polls opened at 7 a.m.

Before polling closed on Tuesday, June 3, tweets from candidates, voters and journalists discussed the primary elections. Most expected a low turnout without hot button issues to drive voters to the polls.

Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Breton hosted a live online chat to discuss the election. Replay it here.

Bee political editor Amy Chance previews races to watch in the June 2014 primary election in California.

Californians go to the polls Tuesday, June 3, to choose candidates for governor and a handful of other statewide offices, 100 state legislative and 53 congressional seats and scores of local offices. Here's what you need to know, including how to find your polling place.

Frequently asked questions about voting in California.

Under California’s “top two” primary system, voters in state and congressional races once again will choose from a ballot that includes candidates of all political leanings. Here’s a rundown from the California secretary of state about how it works:

Residents of this small mountain town in northeastern California will vote on Tuesday, as they have religiously – and at uncommonly high rates – for many years.

Republican Igor Birman paused in front of a Mediterranean-style house, surveying the Citrus Heights neighborhood as he prepared his in-person pitch Sunday afternoon.

Ahead of Tuesday’s primary election, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson launched a television campaign sharply criticizing his two challengers, former charter schools executive Marshall Tuck and schoolteacher Lydia Gutierrez. Following is the text of the 30-second ad and an analysis by Alexei Koseff of The Bee’s Capitol Bureau.

View the latest returns for California statewide and local elections.

Outside spending by dentists, unions, oil companies and other groups in California statewide and legislative races on Tuesday’s ballot has reached nearly $23 million, by far the most reported independent spending leading up to a June primary in almost a decade.

The business-funded committee Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy has sent out a mailer attacking City Councilman Darrell Fong’s fiscal record. The ad also praises Fong’s main opponent, Elk Grove City Councilman Jim Cooper. Both are seeking a vacant Assembly seat in the 9th District.

Law enforcement experience runs through the race for an open 9th Assembly District seat, and cop-turned-city-councilman Darrell Fong’s campaign has sent a mailer linking opponent Jim Cooper, who has worked for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for 30 years, to strip-searches conducted at the Sacramento County jail.

An independent group backed by trial lawyers, environmentalists and nurses has sent out a campaign mailer attacking Assemblyman Richard Pan in his race to represent the Sacramento region in the state Senate. Those interest groups are supporting Pan’s Democratic colleague, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, as they vie against Republican Jonathan Zachariou for the top two spots to advance to the general election. Following are excerpts of the ad and analysis by Laurel Rosenhall of The Bee Capitol Bureau.

Maggy Krell once again has sought to make human sex trafficking an issue in the Sacramento County district attorney’s race by raising questions about how the office in recent years has handled juveniles who are arrested for offenses related to prostitution.

In a bizarre scene, three men said they were paid Friday to stand on a busy downtown Sacramento street corner to hold signs and hand out fliers calling Councilman Jay Schenirer a racist.

Democrat Bill Dodd is being hit with a barrage of union-funded ads that blame the Yolo-Napa county Assembly candidate for faulty materials on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

Republican Doug Ose is pushing back on an outside group that has spent more than $170,000 in recent days on ads that portray the former congressman as more concerned about his own salary than protecting benefits for military veterans.

Prominent Sacramento developer Angelo K. Tsakopoulos and building interests are throwing financial support behind El Dorado auditor-controller Joe Harn in his heated bid for a sixth term.

Democrats Thursday said they’re planning a nearly $44 million ad campaign this fall in 36 battleground House districts, an unusually large commitment from a political party.

The three leading candidates to succeed Controller John Chiang – Democrats John A. Pérez and Betty Yee and Republican Ashley Swearengin – all promise to make the office’s oversight role a priority and say they will do it better than their rivals.

Doug Ose has released a campaign mailer that questions why his Republican rival Igor Birman is throwing mud and claims Birman supports legalizing drugs. The candidates are vying in Tuesday’s primary to advance to a likely matchup with Democratic Rep. Ami Bera to represent the suburban Sacramento district.

Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is airing a television advertisement that attacks state Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell, saying Krell is inexperienced and unethical.

There’s the lifelong Woodland resident and the community advocate, along with a longtime business owner who has dedicated years as a civic volunteer and the experienced hand on the City Council.

No one elected to the Sacramento City Council for the first time this year will have any control over whether the city subsidizes a new downtown sports arena. That decision has already been made.

With longtime state lawmaker Sen. Darrell Steinberg leaving the Legislature this year because of term limits, two Democratic assemblymen and a Republican pastor are vying to replace him.

Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert built on her financial lead in the Sacramento County district attorney’s race by more than doubling her money in the most recent fundraising reporting period.

Two cops-turned-councilmen headline the race for the 9th Assembly District seat, thrown open after incumbent Richard Pan set his sights on the state Senate.

A new Davis City Council will immediately be faced with numerous issues such as budget deficits, major water projects, infrastructure backlogs and efforts to grow revenue.

Joe Harn’s opponent, accountant and winery owner Mike Owen, accuses the auditor-controller of being a polarizing figure who represents political and management dysfunction in El Dorado County.

Bill Bloomfield, a businessman and real estate developer from Manhattan Beach, spent more than $7 million of his own money two years ago in a losing attempt to win a seat in Congress.

Three city council veterans will square off June 3 in the heavily Democratic 7th Assembly District, vying to fill the seat incumbent Assemblyman Roger Dickinson is vacating to run for state Senate.

Voters in West Sacramento and neighboring Clarksburg will choose between a longtime community activist and a veteran politician in Yolo County’s only competitive supervisor race.

The little girl in the commercial is called Emily. She smiles infectiously as a doctor in a white coat listens to her heart. Her blond hair bounces across her back when she reaches up to give him a high-five.

Deputy State Attorney General Maggy Krell has sent out a mailer in the Sacramento County district attorney’s race criticizing one of her opponents, Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, for taking pay raises during the recent tough budget times.

Neel Kashkari released a campaign mailer this week promoting himself as a conservative Republican and likening rival Tim Donnelly, a tea party favorite, to Gov. Jerry Brown. Following is text of the portion of the ad attacking Donnelly and analysis by David Siders of The Bee Capitol Bureau.

The race to succeed Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, is a high-dollar affair, with business and labor pouring money into the redrawn district centered in Yolo and Napa counties.

Sacramento and El Dorado county election officials need poll workers for the June 3 election.

Twice now in candidate forums, Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has told audiences: “I’m not Jan Scully.”

Assemblyman Richard Pan is highlighting his career as a doctor in his race against fellow Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson to represent the Sacramento region in the state Senate. A similar message is emerging in the independent advertising campaigns outside interest groups are mounting to benefit Pan. They have already spent more than $507,000 to support Pan and slam Dickinson.

Neel Kashkari has cut into Tim Donnelly’s lead among Republican candidates for governor, aided by an infusion of his own money in an increasingly divisive, inter-party race, according to a new poll.

After 20 years at City Hall, Sacramento Councilman Steve Cohn is stepping down to run for state Assembly. His departure has touched off a frenzied race to represent a district that covers the affluent blocks of east Sacramento, the working-class areas of South Natomas and the transitioning industrial area north of downtown.

Jerry Brown intends to seek agreements with other states and nations to combat climate change.

Among California’s eight statewide constitutional offices, the superintendent of public instruction is a peculiar case. Officially the state’s only nonpartisan elected position, the head of public schools has nonetheless been a safely Democratic seat for decades, thanks at least in part to the backing of California’s powerful teachers unions.

Sacramento Bee endorsements for the June 3 primary election.

Five-term Placer County Supervisor Robert Weygandt faces his first challenge in eight years, a notable exception considering that 10 other county elected officials are unopposed this June.

The pall over the Capitol is offering new opportunities for candidates to press familiar election-year themes about shaking up state government and ridding its ranks of malfeasance. Experts say the high level of awareness about the scandals, even in pockets of the state prone to detachment, intensify the messages.

It has been more than two decades since Yolo County has had a contested race for an open seat on its Superior Court, but it has one now, with four candidates in a spirited sprint to the June 3 primary.

Republican Neel Kashkari tore into rival Tim Donnelly on Thursday, accusing him of offending minorities and alienating prominent Republicans while mentioning his criminal record in the only scheduled debate between the two candidates for governor.

Proponents of a push to increase the sum victims can recover in medical malpractice lawsuits announced Thursday that they’ve qualified an initiative for the November ballot.

In the last 10 days, GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly has tied his opponent to Islamic law, then backpedaled. His opponent, Neel Kashkari, who is Hindu – not Muslim – began distributing literature in which he is pictured gripping an ax. It all made for good theater, if only anyone was watching.

Democrats in the sweeping 4th Congressional District are crying foul over a campaign mailer by Republican Rep. Tom McClintock they say deceptively boosts the prospects of one candidate so the three-term incumbent can avoid a tough re-election fight.

Nonprofit organizations that make political contributions in California will have to disclose more information about the source of their money under a law Gov. Jerry Brown signed Wednesday.

Sacramento district attorney candidates Maggy Krell, Todd Leras and Anne Marie Schubert took part in a forum Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

Independent expenditures in California statewide and legislative races have more than doubled in the past week, with reported spending by dentists, teachers and dozens of other groups exceeding $11.4 million as of Tuesday evening.

A deep-pocketed campaign committee that usually operates at the state level is taking aim at a Sacramento City Council candidate over his pension.

The tea party, a loosely-knit series of organizations across the country dedicated to slowing the growth of government, has been a factor in Republican politics since 2010. This year, tea party candidates may find their influence weaker than in recent election cycles.

Sacramento City Councilman Jay Schenirer is running for re-election, citing his work to bring new services to the neighborhoods of District 5. His challenger, Ali Cooper, has attacked Schenirer for taking charitable donations from Wal-Mart to help fund that work.

Precinct officers are needed to work polling places on Election Day in Sacramento County.

The Bee’s editorial board met recently with the top two Republican challengers to Gov. Jerry Brown’s re-election campaign, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks and Neel Kashkari of Orange County. Discussion ranged from Donnelly’s unusual flag pin to Kashkari’s choice for president while running the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008. Below are excerpts from the conversations.

When polls close next month, voter turnout will be the main benchmark of Californians’ primary election engagement. But missing from the calculation will be millions of Californians who could have voted but did not register.

To register to vote you must complete a brief voter registration application on paper or online.

Here are four of the more intriguing races on the ballot in California’s primary election, which boasts a wealth of seriously contested local races and a new twist that gives voters more choice in key contests.

El Dorado County’s anti-growth politics were on display last week as eight contenders for the 4th District supervisorial seat appeared at a forum near a gleaming aquatics complex and well-manicured suburban homes in Cameron Park.

Igor Birman, running to oust Democratic Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove, is up with his second television ad of the primary, skewering fellow Republican Doug Ose for what he characterizes as a liberal voting record when he served in Congress from 1999 to 2005. Following is a script of Birman’s 31-second television spot, which features many of the same charges he leveled against Ose in a prior two-minute Web ad. Christopher Cadelago of The Bee Capitol Bureau has the analysis.

Maggy Krell has less experience than her opponents in the Sacramento County DA’s race, but she has amassed an impressive endorsement list, nonetheless. She said she thinks Sacramento “needs an outsider’s perspective on the DA’s office.”

Republican Tim Donnelly, defending his campaign’s social media posts linking rival Neel Kashkari to Islamic law, was on a conservative talk radio show Wednesday when a Kashkari adviser called into the station to protest, resulting in more than 10 minutes of unusual, head-to-head bickering and an apology by Donnelly for a tweet he acknowledged was inaccurate.

The tea party movement’s 2014 prospects began to crumble in North Carolina this week, and more trouble appears to be on the way around the country in the next few weeks.

The White House isn’t yet saying whether it will cooperate with a new House investigation into the September 2012 attack in Libya -- but it stressed Wednesday that Republicans are raising money to support the endeavor.

Averting a costly ballot fight, a prominent health care labor union has agreed to pull a pair of measures that would limit how California hospitals price medical care and compensate their executives.

A federal appellate court on Tuesday affirmed a Sacramento judge’s rejection of a 27-year-old woman’s claim that she had a constitutional right to appear on California’s 2012 presidential primary ballot.

When Sally Ertl last week opened her sample ballot for the June 3 primary election, she saw party endorsements from California Democrats, Greens, American Independents and Peace and Freedom officials – but not Republicans.

The Bee’s editorial board met with the three Republican candidates challenging Democratic incumbent Ami Bera for California’s 7th Congressional District seat. They talked about how John Boehner has done as speaker of the House, about immigration reform and whether California should have to recognize gun laws from other states.

For a nonpolitician, Art Moore's entry into the sprawling 4th District race centered in Placer and El Dorado counties has touched off a wealth of political intrigue.

Neel Kashkari traveled to San Diego to announce his “Students for Kashkari” coalition late last month. Looking at the 11 students gathered, he acknowledged an obvious concern.

No one gives Tim Draper’s move to chop California into six states much of a chance in Congress, which would have the final say. But if California voters go along, the Golden State still would be on its way to a major government overhaul.

Marshall Tuck, one of two challengers to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson this year, released his first radio ad this week. Tuck is the former head of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a nonprofit network of 17 low-performing campuses that were taken over by the city beginning in 2008. Following is the text of the 30-second ad and an analysis by Alexei Koseff of The Bee’s Capitol Bureau.

Gov. Jerry Brown joined a list of top-ranking California Democrats to weigh in on the Sacramento County district attorney’s race when he announced his support Thursday for state Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell.

Gov. Jerry Brown has refused to answer multiple-choice questions for The Bee’s voter guide.

Conservative Los Angeles talk radio hosts say Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari will debate May 15.

The war on poverty returns to Capitol Hill as lawmakers prepare to wage a battle this week that’s a likely preview of what’s to come on the campaign trail this election year and in 2016.

Sexual orientation isn’t an issue in the Sacramento County district attorney’s race, and Anne Marie Schubert says she is not running as a gay candidate. Still, she is pleased to note that if she wins the election to replace the outgoing DA, she would become the first openly gay person to win a countywide election in Sacramento history.

Republican Tim Donnelly, who has made gun rights a centerpiece of his gubernatorial campaign, is pushing for legislation in the Assembly that would expand gun owners’ access to concealed carry permits.

Young people may not be flocking to the polls this year.

Voter ID laws in North Carolina, Texas and other states appear more vulnerable to legal challenges after a federal judge struck down a Wisconsin law that required voters show a state issued photo ID at the polls.

A federal judge has struck down Michigan’s ban on gay marriage – the latest in a series of decisions overturning similar laws across the country.

View what makes up the U.S. federal budget and the political considerations at play.

While the possession, cultivation and distribution of marijuana is a federal offense, the shift in public opinion has prompted many states to enact laws that would legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational use.

Take a view at the effects of the Affordable Care Act in various states and in the nation as a whole.

View candidate positions, statements and videos then build your personalized ballot.

The White House wants the National Security Agency to quit sweeping up and storing vast amounts of data on Americans’ phone calls, preferring to get them from phone companies through a court order.

Take an interactive look at the factors that make up the U.S. economy, including economic policy, labor force, GDP, retail, housing and autos.

Democratic campaign strategists knew they had to win the support of three key groups: minorities (especially Hispanic voters), women and young voters in order to secure Barack Obama's re-election. Historically, key demographics have often played pivotal roles in presidential elections.

It’s election-year déjà vu in Davis, where opponents of the city’s water-rate increases are again taking the issue to the ballot box.

Elizabeth Emken remembers the red-faced invectives she faced while lobbying on Capitol Hill. A veteran autism advocate and parent of a severely disabled young adult, Emken says she was most bothered by the level of indifference to her cause.

They are Democrats, yet their votes in the Capitol have helped big business continue fracking in California and defeat a bill dictating pay and benefit levels for Wal-Mart workers.

Al Muratsuchi took a traditional path to the state Capitol, serving as a prosecutor and school board trustee before his election two years ago to the Assembly. When Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu announced his bid for Congress, Muratsuchi considered launching a campaign for the seat covering coastal Los Angeles.

California’s political ethics panel Thursday unanimously approved a $40,000 money-laundering penalty against state Sen. Tom Berryhill, agreeing with an administrative law judge’s proposed decision that the Twain Harte Republican committed “serious and deliberate” violations of campaign finance rules.

A flurry of missteps and scandals have beset the administration of President Barack Obama, imperiling prospects for his second term and driving down his approval ratings.

Watch a video explaining the primary elections and view a calendar of when each state votes in their primary.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has a 5 percentage point lead in Colorado over Democrat Hillary Clinton in a possible 2016 presidential matchup, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Would-be successors to Secretary of State Debra Bowen promised Wednesday to inject new life into an office they said has become technologically inept and disengaged.

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