California's secretary of state is backing a push from state lawmakers to make its presidential nominating contest the third in the nation.

Legislation offered by Democratic state lawmakers seeks to move California's from June to shortly after Iowa and New Hampshire's presidential primaries.

"A state as populous and diverse as California should not be an afterthought. Moving up the California primary in 2020 makes sense and will give California voters a more significant role. By holding our primary earlier, we will ensure that issues important to Californians are prioritized by presidential candidates from all political parties," California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a Tuesday release.

Padilla noted that when California moved up its primary to February in 2008, it resulted in the highest voter turnout since 1980.

With the state awarding a high number of delegates to each party, the move would make California's contest more consequential for candidates seeking momentum in the early contests but would present challenges in purchasing advertisements in the expensive Los Angeles and San Francisco media markets.