Betty Yee or John Perez? Lake County Will Decide State Controller’s Race

John Hrabe
Writer and Communications Strategist

Betty Yee or John Perez?

California’s too close to call race for state controller comes down to a few thousand uncounted votes in Lake County.

With 83 percent of the state’s unprocessed ballots from the June 3rd primary, the Northern California county will decide which Democrat faces Republican Ashley Swearengin in the November run-off.

As of Saturday morning at 3:00 a.m., Board of Equalization member Betty Yee leads Asm. John A. Perez by 843 votes, a margin of two hundredths of one percent (0.02%).

Projected Winner: Betty Yee…

CalNewsroom.com’s tally, which includes updated results for Santa Cruz County, shows six counties with a combined 7,278 ballots left to count. The overwhelming majority of those unprocessed ballots (6,053) come from Lake County. The Secretary of State’s unofficial results show Yee with a smaller lead; however, its data does not include the final update from Santa Cruz County.

Another tally from Political Data’s Paul Mitchell, the state’s best political numbers-cruncher, gives Yee a 980 vote lead with 6,800 ballots left to count.

…But Lake County could give Perez win

Yee, who started Friday with a 318-vote lead, is still projected to finish in second place. However, the race remains too close to call as Perez has a chance of retaking the lead. That’s because Perez bested Yee by 7.4 percent in Lake County. Dive deeper into the numbers, and there’s more good news for Perez. On Election Day, Perez’s margin over Yee was 14.5 percent, a margin greater than his home county of Los Angeles.

If the race remains as close as it is today, it would be the second closest statewide election in California’s history. In 1988, a transportation bond measure that was supported by Gov. George Deukmejian was defeated by 355 votes, or six thousandths of one percent.

State Controller June 3, 2014 Primary Results:

Candidate Party Votes Percent
Tammy D. Blair              200,148 4.963%
John A. Pérez              876,232 21.726%
Betty T. Yee              877,075 21.747%
David Evans GOP              848,564 21.040%
Ashley Swearengin GOP          1,000,384 24.805%
Laura Wells Green              230,647 5.719%

Counties with Unprocessed Ballots

County Mail Other Total
Amador 0 122 0 122
Lake 5,263 743 47 6,053
Los Angeles 0 110 0 110
San Mateo 0 4 0 4
Sutter 252 216 0 468
Trinity 419 102 0 521

Cross-posted at CalNewsroom.

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