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|California Secretary of State|
|Elections and appointments|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
Cressman currently serves as the Executive director of Pepperdine University's Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership.
Outgoing California Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D) is is prevented by term limits from running for re-election in 2014. Seven candidates filed for the open seat in the June 3 primary. The two candidates who receive the highest number of primary votes will advance to the general election for the chance to succeed Bowen as California's chief elections official.
One of the key issues of the 2014 secretary of state race has been the signature and filing requirements for minor party candidates under California's top-two primary system. Under new qualifications implemented with the top-two primary system, minor party candidates must collect 10,000 signatures to waive a filing fee equal to two percent of the first year's salary for state offices or one percent for members of Congress. Prior to implementing the top-two system, the number of signatures required to waive that fee was 150, so most minor parties opted to file petitions.
After launching their campaigns for California Secretary of State, California State Senator Alex Padilla (D) and ex-state Sen. Leland Yee, who ultimately had to withdraw from the race after he was arrested in March 2014, expressed concerns about ballot access limitations for minor parties under the top-two primary system. Then-Senator Yee opposed the top-two system since it was originally proposed on the ballot, and Senator Padilla said his office was looking into legislative solutions. Green Party candidate David Scott Curtis has campaigned against the top-two system while independent candidate Dan Schnur, who will be designated "no party preference" on the ballot since California’s Proposition 14 took away candidates' "independent" label option, is in favor of it. Democrat Derek Cressman openly opposes the system but has not focused on the issue during his campaign.
Candidates excluded from debate
A California non-profit association called the Sacramento Press Club incited the ire of Green Party candidate David Scott Curtis for failing to invite him and three other 2014 secretary of state candidates to participate in an April 23 debate. With eight candidates in the running, the Sacramento Press Club said they wanted to restrict the size of the event by only including "top contenders in a crowded field," who they determined to be Pete Peterson (R), state Sen. Alex Padilla (D), Dan Schnur (I) and Derek Cressman (D). By the time Curtis learned of his exclusion, back-to-back Field Polls had been released showing Curtis ahead of both Schnur and Cressman, two of these presumed "top contenders." Unable to reach a Sacramento Press Club representative who could immediately provide him with an explanation, Curtis used social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to express his outrage over what he considered a conspicuous display of political bias by the tax-exempt organization, against which Curtis has since filed a challenge with the IRS. Amid his "tirade of insulting and threatening social media posts about our organization," as described by the press club, Curtis asked about this incident's implications on the state of 'journalism,' thus prompting recognition of his snub's contextual significance. So far this election season, individuals and organizations affiliated with the political media have been markedly more present and vocal than usual for a secretary of state race.
For example, Schnur is known for furnishing the Capitol press, whose members make up a large portion of the Sacramento Press Club, with sound bites and other material. Schnur was one of the two candidates to received invitations to the April 23 debate despite polling worse than Curtis. Joe Mathews, the California editor at Zocalo Public Square wrote, “Of course, I’m for Dan Schnur for Secretary of State. I’m in the media, and he’s our candidate...He’s the favored candidate of our state’s political media, which feeds us polls and old, bogus narratives about the state.”
The Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter honored ex-state Sen. and candidate Leland Yee with its Public Official Award shortly before Yee's arrest forced him to exit the race.
On March 26, 2014, Democratic candidate Leland Yee was arraigned on seven charges of corruption and firearms trafficking. Yee, along with 25 others, was involved in an FBI operation to uncover those suspected of illegal activities involving drugs, guns and arranging murder for hire. If convicted, Yee would face up to 20 years in a federal prison. He was released on a $500,000 unsecured bond. Yee's alleged illegal activities stemmed from his debt acquired in a failed run for San Francisco mayor in 2011 and money raised for the Secretary of State race. Authorities believe Yee accepted money for official actions performed while in office. These actions included urging an agency to accept a software contract from a specific vendor in exchange for $10,000, writing a Senate proclamation to honor the Chee Kung Tong group for $6,800 and introducing a medical marijuana businessman to state legislators working on the issue for $21,000. Unknown to Yee, all of these paying contacts were undercover agents. In other attempts to raise money, Yee allegedly promised to help other undercover agents obtain illegal guns from an international arms dealer. 
Despite no longer being in the race, Yee's name will remain on the primary ballot. This is due to an election rule--scarcely seen outside California--barring candidates from withdrawing their names from the ballot after they file.
|California Secretary of State|
|Poll||Derek Cressman (D)||Alex Padilla (D)||Pete Peterson (R)||Dan Schnur (NPP)||David Scott Curtis (G)||Leland Yee (D)||Other||Undecided||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|The Field Poll (with Yee)|
March 18-April 5, 2014
|The Field Poll (without Yee)|
March 18-April 5, 2014
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to email@example.com|
This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Derek Cressman + California + Secretary + of + State
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- California Secretary of State
- California secretary of state election, 2014
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- CalNewsroom.com, "Padilla, Yee looking at 3rd party ballot access issues," February 20, 2014
- Calnewsroom.com, "In statewide debut, top-two primary blocks third parties from June ballot," February 14, 2014
- CalNewsroom.com, "Sacramento Press Club excludes Green Party candidate from Secretary of State debate," April 20, 2014
- CalNewsroom.com, " Re: Exclusion of Green Party Candidate from Secretary of State Debate," April 20, 2014
- The Sacramento Bee, "FBI: California Sen. Leland Yee took bribes, trafficked guns," March 27, 2014