Sponsored by IVN and hosted by the University of San Diego School of Law Independent Voter Club, yesterday marked our first Independent Forum, where independents from across California gathered to explain the importance of the new open primary system in California.
To kick off the press conference, IVN president Chad Peace welcomed the guests, reminding the audience that this year, because of the open primary system, independent voters will now have the opportunity to vote in the June 5th primary for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation.
Traveling the farthest was independent Chad Condit (CA10), who traveled from Ceres, California to attend yesterday's San Diego forum. Running a different kind of campaign, Chad's campaign is funded entirely on individual donations. He clarifies on his website that unlike campaigns run out of Washington, he is not taking donations from special interests.
Former Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks also spoke to the importance of this election. We covered the event on Twitter, where we shared a quote from her speech:
"I am so thankful we have an open primary, meaning you can vote for any candidate on the ballot. The best candidate." - @LindaParks2012 — Independent Voter (@IVNetwork) April 20, 2012
Like Condit, Parks is not receiving any special interest money and called upon the individuals in the crowd to help support her cause.
San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher, whose recent departure from the GOP highlights the problem of partisan politics, also spoke of the importance of June 5th's primary. Addressing the recent shift, he stated:
"I left partisan politics to do the right thing...We have an opportunity in 47 days to send a powerful message that we aren't going to spend the next decade playing games," he continued, "I encourage those that remain in the two major parties to step out of their comfort zone and to do the right thing."
Also joining us was Fletcher's opponent, San Diego mayoral candidate Bob Filner, who despite his affiliation with the Democratic party, started off his speech by shouting, "I love independents!" He continued by describing the nature of independent candidates: "What makes someone an independent is where their contributions are coming from and whose interests they are representing. It's where the money's from, not what you call yourself."
San Diego candidate Jack Doyle, running for Congress in California's 52nd district, was also in attendance and discussed the the role of independent voters in June's election. The former mayor of Santee, California, stated:
The best way to break partisan gridlock is to vote for candidates not tied to any party.
After the speeches, the candidates took some time to answer constituent questions, chat with attendees, and mingle with fellow independents.
We'll be posting more photos soon, but in the mean time, here are some photos from the event yesterday, taken on Instagram. And if you haven't already, follow us on Instagram: @IVNetwork!