California's 2nd 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 Wally Herger (R), who was first elected in 1986. Herger was redrawn into the 1st district and chose to retire rather than seek re-election. There is no incumbent running in the new 2nd district.
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."
As a result of the blanket primary, nine of California's 53 congressional districts will have same-party candidates battling in the November 6 general election. Of those, seven are between Democrats.
General election candidates
June 5, 2012, primary results
- Susan Adams
- Andy Caffrey
- William Courtney:
- Larry Fritzlan
- Jared Huffman Member of the California State Assembly
- Stacey Lawson
- Tiffany Renee
- Norman Solomon
- Mike Halliwell
- Daniel Roberts 
- Brooke Clarke
- John Lewallen
Impact of redistricting
- See also: Redistricting in California
|U.S. House, California District 2 General Election, 2010|
|Republican||Wally Herger Incumbent||57.2%||130,837|
- United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections, 2012
- Susan Adams campaign website
- Andy Caffrey campaign website
- William Courtney campaign website
- Jared Huffman campaign website
- Stacey Lawson campaign website
- Tiffany Renée campaign website
- Norman Solomon campaign website
- Dan Roberts campaign website
- Record Searchlight "UPDATED: Herger announces retirement; backs LaMalfa to run for his seat," January 9, 2012
- Los Angeles Times, "Few centrists advance in California's new primary system," June 7, 2012
- Reuters, "Democrats face Democrats in new California election system," June 6, 2012
- "Lawson jumps into race for North Bay congressional seat", pressdemocrat.com, August 25, 2011
- "San Rafael businesswoman running for Congress raises big bucks in a hurry", marinij.com, October 18, 2011
- "Who Should Represent us in Congress? Take Our Poll", Novato.Patch.com, October 19, 2011
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"