Listen: What you need to know before you vote

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In 2012, the “top-two primary” system was implemented in California, meaning that the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will make it to the ballot in November.

Today on Press Play, Madeleine Brand got the election rundown with Loyola Law School Professor Jessica Levinson.

33rd Congressional District Seat to replace Henry Waxman

“It’s the first time a seat has opened up in a long time,” says Levinson, and “a lot of people who I think would do a good job.” And a lot of candidates who will have to spend a lot of money. “Elections are more expensive because you’re not just going to your base, you’re going to everybody,” says Levinson.

GOP Gubernatorial race

“We all know everything we’re going to know about Governor Brown,” Levinson says. And unless something truly earth shattering happens, he’ll win in November. So why are two Republicans fighting so hard to get on the ballot?  Neel Kashakari is trying to bring back the Republican Party in California and Tim Donnelly, according to some, is trying to tear down the GOP. “Anyone whose looking at registration numbers, knows the Republicans are in trouble” in this state.

LA County Supervisor

In 2002,  voters passed term limits for the Supervisors. It used to be that you won one of these coveted seats and you could stay there for a while, but not anymore, explains Levinson.

The office has a lot of power. It controls millions of dollars. The supervisors are sometimes called the “Five Kings of LA, she says. “What you have is basically five people running, in essence what’s almost a state. They’re given budgets like $3-4 million for staff, pet projects, non profits. They don’t have to check with their fellow supervisors.”

They may even have more power than the mayor. Levinson explains that they have enormous power over serious things like health and law enforcement. They’re less visible but arguably more important than jobs we know more about, like mayor.

LA Sheriffs race

There’s no incumbent in this race as Sheriff Lee Baca resigned after charges of corruption and abuse in the jails. Outsider, Jim McDonnell is widely seen s the favorite . The word everyone is using in this race is “reformer.”

*This post has been corrected.