CONTROLLER | RECOUNT | The writing appears to be on the wall for former Assembly Speaker John Perez’s bid to overtake Alameda’s Betty Yee in the recount of its contentious primary race last month.
Perez’s handpicked precincts are not gaining many votes to negate the 481 votes difference between he and Yee for the second place spot in the November General Election. Republican Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearingen finished first.
Last Friday, Perez actually lost a single vote in Imperial and Kern County. On Monday, the tally was a net positive of four votes for Perez. No change came from Tuesday’s recount.
Perez’s legal right to pick and choose which areas to recount has caused some consternation in Sacramento and the media for being unfair. The move also evokes painful memories from the Florida presidential recount in 2000. On Wednesday, Assemblymember Kevin Mullin said he will offer legislation to overhaul the crazy quilt of recount rules across the state.
Early recount returns may have been the impetus for the state Democratic Party, meeting in Oakland last weekend, to officially endorse Yee in the fall. Democrats initially fear the potential divisiveness from recount may inadvertently aid the Republican in November remain plausible, however, early returns are showing the fall of Perez from the speakership to a disappointing primary showing make shifting support to Yee the correct line of attack going forward.
Although, Swearingen won the primary, her chances of winning in November are slim. Democrats also take pride in dominating every single statewide office and this controller’s race represents the campaign where the Republican could mount some challenge.