Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 30 / 24 July 2014
 

Gay CA controller candidate drops down to third as more votes are tallied

1278105_540916365988024_1040107362_oA day after he saw his hold on second place widen, a gay candidate for California controller found himself back in third, according to unofficial returns Thursday afternoon.

The results in the close contest have seesawed between gay Assemblyman John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles), in photo at left, and Betty Yee, a Democrat who represents the Bay Area and northern California on the state Board of Equalization. As the Bay Area Reporter noted in an article in the June 19 issue today, Perez had been holding on to second place in recent days.

Since placing second on the night of the June 3 primary, Republican candidate David Evans is now lagging behind in fourth place. Evans lives in California City in Kern County and is the vice present and chief financial officer of Boardwalk Motor Car Group in Redwood City.

Meanwhile, Republican Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin continues to hold on to first place in her bid for the relatively unknown controller position. Under California’s open primary system, the candidates with the top two vote totals, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election in November.

22_14_Political_Notebook_25_MED1_YEEAccording to the latest vote count, posted by the Secretary of State’s Office at 4:40 p.m. today, Perez had fallen to third place with 870,217 votes. Yee, in photo at right, had bounced into second place with 870,535 votes, giving her a 318-vote lead. The two Democrats are now at a 21.8 percent statistical dead heat in the race.

Evans continued to trail in fourth place with 839,644 votes. Swearengin continued to hold a comfortable lead for first place with 988,198 votes.

Perez, the first out LGBT person elected to the powerful Assembly speaker post, which he resigned from last month, would like to be the first out candidate to win a statewide seat.

If he does, he would be only the second known LGBT person to hold one of the state’s eight constitutional offices. The first is believed to be Tony Miller, a gay man and Democratic lawyer who was appointed to the vacant secretary of state position in 1994.

Miller, however, lost his bid for a full term, and in 1998, he again came up short in his bid for lieutenant governor.

County election officials have until Friday, July 4 to send their final counts to the Secretary of State’s Office. The state agency must complete its review of the county results by the following Friday, July 11.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 19, 2014 @ 6:26 pm PST
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