Thursday, April 2, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

4-way contest for state controller creates drama

walters column sig

By
From page A9 | June 15, 2014 |

In the pecking order of statewide offices, controller falls somewhere in the middle – below the governor or the attorney general, certainly, but higher in political stature than the insurance commissioner, the state schools superintendent or, at the very bottom, the lieutenant governor.

The controller writes state checks, oversees some audits and sits on some influential boards and commissions – but the position’s political clout comes from being a bully pulpit on state financial matters.

Controller John Chiang has certainly used that pulpit and, facing term limits, is poised to segue into the state’s other financial position, state treasurer. Meanwhile, who follows him as controller has become one of the year’s most watched political situations.

On primary election night, four contenders – two Democrats and two Republicans – were virtually tied, but a million votes remained to be processed.

Each day since then has provided a new fix for political junkies and number-crunchers as the fortunes of the quartet have ebbed and flowed with every county vote report.

Just two of the four can appear on the Nov. 4 ballot, and 10 days after voting ended, it’s evident that a Republican, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, will finish in first place while the other three vie for second place.

Initially, it seemed possible that the second Republican, a little-known Southern California accountant named David Evans, would join Swearengin.

However, it’s now virtually certain that a Democrat, either former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez or Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, will make it.

Yee had opened a 3,621-vote lead over Pérez by late Thursday, but if the final tally is very close, a recount may be on the horizon.

Swearengin would probably prefer to face Pérez. He carries the burden of the Legislature’s unpopularity, and facing him might help Swearengin get women’s votes, regardless of party.

Yee wouldn’t carry any obvious negatives into a duel with Swearengin other than coincidentally and unfortunately sharing a surname with Leland Yee, an unrelated state senator facing federal criminal charges.

Could that make a difference? That would depend on whether voters are paying attention. After all, Leland Yee garnered more than 350,000 votes for secretary of state even though he had publicly quit the race after being indicted.

But the biggest question of the forthcoming contest, regardless of who Swearengin’s rival turns out to be, is whether she can re-establish a Republican toehold in statewide office and thus help restore her party to some relevance.

Swearengin represents a new, more moderate and more inclusive image that party leaders want to develop as they seek to regain traction in the face of declining voter registration and a right-wing image that alienates many voters, including many independents.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him as [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • rlw895June 15, 2014 - 3:45 am

    I may vote for Republican for the first time in years, thanks to the top two primary system nominating moderates as predicted.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Special police unit undergoes mutual aid training in Vacaville

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    College faculty shows solidarity as contract talks continue

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Pursuit of happiness may need makeover

    By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2

     
     
    Pickleball decision stalls in Vacaville

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Energy saver workshop to take place in Suisun

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Authorities cite speed in rollover crash

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

    Il Fiorello schedules April cooking classes

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Lynch Canyon site of 7th annual Kite Festival

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Chabad of Solano County to host Passover Seders

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police log: March 31, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Fairfield police log: March 30, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Suisun City police log: March 31, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Suisun City police Log: March 30, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    .

    US / World

    Snowpack dismal as governor orders cuts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Wrongful death trial slated in teen suicide case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Trespassing woman believed to have jumped fence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Man’s death linked to too much iced tea

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Arkansas governor backs away from bill called ‘anti-gay’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Districts seeking waiver from NCLB mandates

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    National park admission fees set for an increase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Iraq hails victory over Islamic State extremists in Tikrit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Double overtime: Faltering Iran nuclear talks extended again

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Alps crash: Bodies recovered, but families must wait months

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    .

    Opinion

     
    Aquino wants to make Philippines into Detroit

    By William Pesek | From Page: A7

    What’s driving you to distraction?

    By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A7

     
    Maybe need more for airplane security

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Thank you for your help

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

     
    Clinton: Our 1st woman president

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

    Editorial Cartoon: April 2, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: April 2, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: April 2, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: April 2, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

     
    2nd-place wife needs to decide if she’s better off without husband

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

    .

    Entertainment

    Cynthia Lennon, first wife of John Lennon, dies of cancer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Dish’s Internet TV, Sling, gets HBO service for $15 a month

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Mark Wahlberg to produce Boston Marathon bombing movie

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    .

    Sports

    Chavez allows 3 hits in 6 innings as A’s beat Angels 4-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Harden’s career-high 51 lead Rockets over Kings 115-111

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Miami, Stanford meet in NIT final matchup of banged-up teams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Bumgarner outpitches Kluber as Giants beat Indians 5-2

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    AP Source: Kings to sign 1st NBA player of Indian descent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Mullin: Trying to turn around St John’s an ‘obligation’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    California development for sports stadiums moves forward

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    St. Louis County pulls taxpayers from NFL stadium financing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Letters from old Yankee Stadium fail to sell at NYC auction

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Serena Williams earns 700th win to reach Miami Open semis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    US Senators want FIFA to move 2018 World Cup out of Russia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    NIT, MSG agree to 3-year contract extension through 2018

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reid ready for Houston Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    IndyCar’s new aero kits leave debris trail in season opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Will Indiana law force 2016 women’s Final Four to relocate?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    William Dean

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Acencion “Ghenido” Zepeda

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Manuel D. Ramos Sr.

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Charles Bell

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9