Born in 1947, Delaine Eastin is a US politician who served as the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) from 1995 to 2003 (2x 4 year terms). The SPI of California is the elected officer of the department of education. They are responsible for executing policies set by the board of education.
She was the first woman to be elected SPI, as well as being the highest ranking official in California’s elementary and secondary public school system.
Eastin studied at the University of California, Davis, and then went on to acquire a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. This led her in to a 7 year teaching career; specifically Women’s Studies and Political Science.
June 2nd 1998 was the date for California’s first-ever open primary election. It was a historic event that gave voters a greater opportunity than ever to shape the fate of their state’s future.
Approved by voters in 1996, the open primary was accessible to all registered voters in the state. To the general public (on the voter’s register), this meant that they could go to their local ballot office and vote for any of the candidates (from every political party) running for any of the offices. Before 1996, one could only vote for candidates from the political party in which they were registered. (A Democrat could not vote for a Republican, and vice versa).
Voters were obviously restricted to one candidate per race, with the candidates from each race receiving the most votes competing against one another in the November general election of the same year. One of the candidates running was Delaine Eastin.