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In my ongoing attempt to nail down what might happen with California’s presidential primary — and therefore the timing of potential local ballot iniatitives — I got a hold of state Sen. Christine Kehoe.

Kehoe said she hadn’t decided anything and that there were a lot of discussions held over from before the holidays that the Legislature still needs to address.

But she said she wasn’t too excited about the most prominent of ideas I’ve discussed — to split California’s primary election holding the presidential part of it in March and the rest of the state’s primaries in June 2008.

“I think that’s asking people to go to the polls one too many times,” Kehoe said.

The idea, of course, was uniquely suited for legislators who were being termed out. Why? Because on the first ballot on which people were voting for their preferred presidential candidate, the voters would also get the chance to vote on extending term limits for state legislators. If voters approved of the extension, then the people who were being termed out would have a chance to be reelected in June.

Kehoe said she was supportive of extending term limits, but not to keep current legislators in power.

“I think that although term limits have done harm to state government, I don’t feel that the voters want to see a change at this point. It’s the voters in a community and their local organizations like the chambers of commerce and League of Women voters who have to come together and say ‘We need a change,’” Kehoe said.

“Changes to term limits can’t be something that the Legislature pushes down,” she said.

So it sounds like if she supported any change to the primary, she would support moving the whole thing to March or earlier.

SCOTT LEWIS

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