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Independent Candidates Sparse Despite Voter Gains

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Even as California voters increasingly turn away from political party labels, Democratic and Republican candidates dominate elections.

Just one independent was on the Nov. 6 ballot for the 100 state Assembly and Senate seats up for election, while four were running in the 53 congressional races. All of them lost.

And California is not likely to see a wave of independent candidates anytime soon, even as those who choose “no party preference” have grown to 21 percent of California’s 18.2 million registered voters.

The cost of running for office is too high unless a candidate is independently wealthy, and candidates aligned with political parties have the built-in advantage of grassroots organizing.

Independent Assembly candidate Chad Walsh spent $168,000 on his unsuccessful bid and says he can’t afford to run again.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)

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