Bruce McPherson

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Bruce McPherson
Member of the
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors from the 5th district
Assumed office
January 2013
Preceded byMark Stone
30th Secretary of State of California
In office
March 30, 2005 – January 7, 2007
GovernorArnold Schwarzenegger
Preceded byCathy Mitchell
Succeeded byDebra Bowen
Member of the California Senate
from the 15th district
In office
December 2, 1996 – November 30, 2004
Preceded byHenry J. Mello
Succeeded byAbel Maldonado
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 27th district
In office
November 14, 1993 – November 30, 1996
Preceded bySam Farr
Succeeded byFred Keeley
Personal details
Born (1944-01-07) January 7, 1944 (age 77)
Santa Cruz, California, U.S.
Political partyIndependent (2012–present)
Other political
Republican (before 2012)[1]
Spouse(s)Mary McPherson
Children1 (1 deceased)
EducationCalifornia Polytechnic State University (BS)

Bruce A. McPherson (born January 7, 1944) is an American politician who served as the 30th California secretary of state from March 30, 2005 to January 7, 2007.

Early life and education[edit]

McPherson was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from California Polytechnic State University in 1965.[2]


Prior to his political career, he worked as the editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, a newspaper owned by his family. McPherson served as a member of the California State Assembly from 1993 to 1996 and California State Senate from 1996 to 2004. McPherson was defeated in the 2002 election for lieutenant governor of California by incumbent Cruz Bustamante.

He was nominated to replace former Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who resigned on March 4. McPherson, a Republican from Santa Cruz County, served his term as secretary until January 8, 2007. He was confirmed unanimously by both Democratic-controlled houses of the California State Legislature after being nominated to replace Shelley, a Democrat, by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He lost his bid for a full term to Democrat Debra Bowen in November 2006.

McPherson left the Republican Party in June 2012 to register as "no party preference".[1]

In November 2012, McPherson was elected to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.[3]

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife have one daughter. Their son, Hunter, was murdered in a 2001 San Francisco street robbery.[4]

Electoral history[edit]

  • 1996 California State Senate, 15th District
  • 2002 Republican Primary for California Lt. Governor
    • Bruce McPherson (R) – 86.2%
    • Ellie Michaels (R) – 13.8%
  • 2002 California Lt. governor
  • 2006 California Secretary of State
    • Debra Bowen (D) – 48.4%
    • Bruce McPherson (R), (inc.) – 44.8%
  • 2012 Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, District 5
    • Bruce McPherson (N/P) – 50.10%%
    • Eric Hammer (N/P) – 49.51%


  1. ^ a b Skelton, George (June 25, 2012). "California GOP sinking into third-party status". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 25, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "JoinCalifornia - Bruce McPherson". Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  3. ^ Santa Cruz County Registrar of Voters, Santa Cruz County - Presidential General Election Archived April 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, Santa Cruz County Registrar of Voters (December 4, 2012).
  4. ^ Jaxon Van Derbeken, Murder verdict in case of state nominee's slain son, San Francisco Chronicle (March 3, 2005).

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by
Sam Farr
California State Assemblyman
27th District
November 14, 1993 – November 30, 1996
Succeeded by
Fred Keeley
California Senate
Preceded by
Henry J. Mello
California State Senator
15th District
December 2, 1996 – November 30, 2004
Succeeded by
Abel Maldonado
Political offices
Preceded by
Cathy Mitchell
California Secretary of State
Succeeded by
Debra Bowen