It's election season, which means debates, lawn signs and plenty of campaign ads.
How can you stay informed on the issues? Bookmark this page. Patch is devoted to bringing you updated information from now until November.
Check back as we keep you posted on races around town. Here's a start on the candidates we'll be covering in 2012.
Assembly District 8
- Litmus test for California's newly configured assembly districts, which are supposed to be more competitive and also more moderate.
- New district is almost evenly split between voters—40 percent are registered Democrats, 37 percent are Republicans and 18 percent are independent.
- Democratic candidate Ken Cooley, a Rancho Cordova city councilmember, won the June 5 primary with 43 percent of the vote.
- Republican candidate Peter Tateishi, chief of staff for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), took second in the primary with 22 percent.
Congressional District 7
- Dan Lungren (R-Gold River) is the Republican incumbent from the current District 3 and won the June 5 primary with 52 percent.
- Democratic challenger Ami Bera took second with 40 percent.
- Rematch of the 2010 general election, won by Lungren.
- District 3 had different demographics: 40 percent registered Republicans, 37 percent Democrats and 18 percent independents.
- After the lines were redrawn for new District 7, Democrats now have a slight edge: 39 percent Democrats, 38 Republicans and 18 independents.
- Could be most expensive presidential campaign ever: more than $1 billion might be spent on deciding the contest between the Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and the Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
- Current polls show Obama and Romney are neck and neck.
- Election has been compared to 1980 race, when Ronald Reagan swept to office after defeating the unpopular Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter.
- Also been compared to 2004 contest, when George W. Bush fought off John Kerry to win re-election.
- Barack Obama has to rally disappointed progressives who think the president has broken key campaign promises from the 2008 election.
- Romney will need support from conservatives who think he's too moderate or aren't sure about having a Mormon as president.
- This week, a former billionaire supporter of Newt Gingrich said he would pledge "unlimited" funds to Romney's election campaign.