"The next Governor will be elected in the first 'open primary' for California's highest office. As CAAA's new president, I recognize that this is an unprecedented challenge and opportunity.
"Under the old 'closed primary', the top Democratic finisher in June 2018 would have faced the top Republican finisher. The 'open primary' is completely different. Next June, Californians will be able to vote for any of the six candidates irrespective of party affiliation. The two candidates receiving the most votes will face off in November. Both could be Democrats.
"Here is what our political team can tell us...
"There are currently two Republican candidates and four Democrats. We can be certain that the two Republican candidates will get 30% of the votes in June. It's fairly safe to assume that the two Republicans will split that 30%. That scenario leaves 70% of the June votes for the Democrats to split. So there is a real possibility - not a certainty - that two Democrats could finish as the top two finishers in June and face off in November.
"No one can predict the outcome this far in advance. And many CAAA members - like other Californians - favor one Democrat over the others.
"Based on candidates' fundraising to-date and the public polls we have seen, if two Democrats finish as the top two in June, it is most likely that it will be among Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, State Treasurer John Chiang, and former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. And ironically, under this scenario the ultimate winner in November will be the Democrat with the most appeal to Republican and Independent voters...there wouldn't be a Republican on the November ballot.
"I have organized CAAA's 'New Governor Project'. I have selected three teams of CAAA's leaders - board and active members. Each team will be responsible for interviewing one of the likely Democratic finalists. We intend our discussions with the candidates to go far beyond a polite exchange on Workers' Compensation. We want to get into the nitty- gritty of the issues we face daily in the system.
"Over the next few months we will be sharing our progress and reporting to you on those conversations.
"Certainly, I want all of you to know that your active participation in the 'New Governor Project' is welcome."