East Bay’s Betty Yee, Ellen Corbett Show Signs of Fight at Party Convention

CAMPAIGN 2014 | If anything, last weekend’s State Democratic Party Convention provided hints two female veteran East Bay may make things interesting come June and possibly beyond.

Alameda’s Betty Yee blocked Assembly Speaker John Perez from gaining the all-important party endorsement in their state controller race. Yee, a member of the State Board of Equalization nearly matched Perez’s delegate total. However, neither was close to reaching the 60 percent threshold with Perez edging out Yee, 48-45 percent.

East Bay Rep. Eric Swalwell gained the party’s backing Saturday night, but similar to his delegate count at a pre-endorsement meeting last month, Swalwell barely crossed the 50 percent needed at the convention for incumbents. Swalwell won 37 of 67 ballots for 55 percent of the vote over State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, who garnered 24 delegates. There were six no endorsements cast and an addition six blank ballots.

No matter the results of the final delegate count, voters in the 15th Congressional District will only see Swalwell’s name on the party’s slate cards in the coming months. However, both delegate counts show the district’s political leaders are still not entirely sold on the first-time congressman over the more experienced and well-known Corbett.

The inclusion of Alameda County Republican Party vice chair Hugh Bussell last week to the June primary may also be a potential hindrance to the favored Swalwell posting a convincing win over Corbett on June 3. The top-two, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the November general election.

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