In an effort to force debate on Iraq among visiting US presidential candidates, California's state Senate leader on Thursday announced plans for a ballot measure calling for the immediate withdrawal of US troops.
The advisory Vote Us Out of Iraq measure would appear on California's February 5 presidential primary ballot, and it is thought to be the first in the United States to put the issue of US troop withdrawal to a statewide vote.
"We want every single candidate coming to California to square off on this issue," said Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, adding that the state's new early presidential primary would help "set the pace" for the 2008 race.
At least 336 troops from California have died in Iraq, more than from any other state.
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