How California primaries create special interest-fueled races with Democratic infighting
A campaign billboard on Sutterville Road in Sacramento depicts Dave Jones, a candidate for state Senate District 8, as a bobblehead on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. - Nathaniel Levine/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento residents of Senate District 8 received reminders of California’s unusual top-two primary system every time they opened their mailboxes this spring. Two Democrats — both virtually guaranteed spots on the November general election ballot — spent much of April and May trashing each other in a barrage of mailers, some funded by political action committees (PACs). Issues like homelessness and climate change were eclipsed by the millions in PAC money. Instead, the primary between Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby and former Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones...