The following Q&A is with Republican Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, candidate for State Senate District 5.
Are you personally in favor of the new open primary system?
Berryhill: Yes. More than 15% of the registered voters in the newly drawn 5th State Senate District do not have a party preference. I believe that if our campaign can earn their support in June, it is likely that they will continue to support my candidacy in the Fall.
In your opinion, what are the top issues for this election cycle in California?
Berryhill: I talk to voters everyday who are concerned about the lack of job opportunities in the Valley and the struggling economy. Democrats and Republicans alike want their representatives to pass reforms that bring back economic certainty and stop wasteful spending.
How does your message appeal to Californians who identify as "No Party Preference" or are undecided?
Berryhill: My campaign for State Senate isn’t about hyper partisanship or political gamesmanship. It is about using common sense to find solutions to the many challenges our region is facing.
How are you adjusting your campaign outreach and messaging to reflect the wider demographic of voters you now have to appeal to in the primary?
Berryhill: Our campaign has been engaged in an aggressive voter contact program since the beginning of the year. Volunteers make phone calls and go door-to-door talking with voters about the message of our campaign. Because of the open primary system, we include Democrats and voters with no party preference when we conduct our outreach.
Editor's Note: The Independent Voter Network has reached out to various campaigns with the preceding set of questions on open primaries and California independent voters. All candidates interested in speaking out on these questions are encouraged to forward responses to [email protected] IVN respects all viewpoints and candidates, and we look forward to featuring all responses.