Gay former Assembly Speaker John A. Perez on Friday dropped a partial recount in the state controller’s race, conceding that Board of Equalization member Betty Yee came in second and will face Republican Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin in November.
According to KQED, the move came after Perez picked up only a handful of votes in Kern and Imperial counties, two parts of the state where he thought he would get more votes in a recount.
Yee beat Perez by only a few hundred votes in the June 3 primary, coming in second place.
In a statement, Perez said, “There is simply not enough time to see this process through to the end, given the fact that counties must begin printing ballots in the next few weeks in order to ensure that overseas and military voters can receive their ballots in a timely manner.”
[Updated: In a brief interview late Friday afternoon, Yee told the Bay Area Reporter that she was "relieved" the recount had been stopped.
"I'm relieved and thankful and we can begin work on party unity and the November election," Yee said.
Yee said that Perez was "gracious" in a call to her.
"I did get a call from Speaker emeritus Perez," she said. "He was very gracious and he offered support."
As for next steps, Yee said she will continue to gather endorsements and raise money. She said that according to the secretary of state's website, Swearengin is not accepting campaign spending limits, meaning it is likely the Republican Party will pour money into the race. [End of update.]
California Democrats had been pressuring Perez to end his bid, media outlets reported this week. The state party donated $50,000 to Yee’s campaign earlier this week and endorsed her.