California's 16th Congressional District elections, 2012
November 6, 2012
June 5, 2012
Candidates wishing to run were required to file by the signature filing deadline of March 9, 2012. The primary election took place on June 5, 2012.
Heading into the election the incumbent is Zoe Lofgren (D), who was first elected in 1994. However, due to heavy redistricting, the current incumbent of the district will most likely no longer remain in the district.
According to a Cook Political Report analysis, the 16th district is one of 13 congressional districts in California that may be competitive in 2012. The analysis rated it as Likely Democratic.
This was the first election year in which California's Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act was in effect. Because of this, all candidates for a seat competed in one blanket primary. The two candidates who received the most votes then advanced to the general election on November 6.
The proposition's intent was to encourage primary competition, which backers of the act said would lead to more moderate legislators being elected. Despite this intention, only a few centrists successfully advanced to the general election. The primary results did reflect an increase in competition, with California's percentage of contested primaries being much higher than the nationwide average.
However, the increase in competition has also led to an increase in campaign spending, due to the fact that competition within political parties will last for the entire year rather than ending after the primary. Experts predict that this will only increase the power of the special interest groups that fund the campaigns.
Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director of the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State L.A., said the following, "It's hard to argue it's a better system where the incumbent congressman has a huge war chest and nobody else has any money... At least now we can make him spend it."
General election candidates
June 5, 2012, primary results
Impact of redistricting
- See also: Redistricting in California
|U.S. House, California District 16 General Election, 2010|
|Democratic||Zoe Lofgren Incumbent||67.8%||105,841|
- United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections, 2012