LA Mayoral Race 2013: Why Are There Only Democrats On The Ballot?

The reasoning behind this unique circumstance is that the city of Los Angeles has non-partisian elections. It has a round election system. To quote the LA Electoral Code

"(a) In the event that any candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for an
office at the Primary Nominating Election, that candidate shall be elected to the office.


(b) In the event no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for an office at
the Primary Nominating Election, the two candidates receiving the highest number of
votes for the office shall be the candidates, and the only candidates, for that office whose
names shall appear on the ballots to be used at the General Municipal Election."

Republican Kevin James failed to get enough votes to be in the top two despite facing four Democratic candidates. He only got 16.4% of the vote, while Eric Garcetti caught 32.9% and Wendy Greuel received 29.2%.

The previous version of this post was incorrect, it has been updated with the correct information. For posterity my error is kept for all to see below.

Two Democratic candidates are running against each other in today’s Los Angeles Mayoral elections. This may seem strange to many in the U.S. who are used to the usual Republican versus Democrat electoral two party system that pervades much of the nation. However the reasoning behind the result is not because of some plot to crowd out Republicans. Rather it emerges from a California proposition that has made campaigning in California much more interesting.

Proposition 14 was passed in 2010 with 53.7% of the vote. It implemented a blanket primary system in which all candidates for a position are put into a single ballot no matter what political party they are. From there if no candidate can get a clear majority the top two candidates move to a second head to head round of elections.

Republican Kevin James failed to get enough votes to be in the top two despite facing four Democratic candidates. He only got 16.4% of the vote, while Eric Garcetti caught 32.9% and Wendy Greuel received 29.2%.