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Swearengin,Yee Vie for State Controller as Perez Ends Bid

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin will face California Board of Equalization member Betty Yee in the race for state controller after former state Assembly Speaker John Perez ended his bid.

Perez, a Democrat who fell 481 votes short of Yee for second place in the June primary, decided to call off a recount he had requested July 6 in an effort to advance to the November election, he said in a statement.

“Today I have made the decision to bring the recount process to an end, and pledge my full support to Betty Yee to be California’s next controller,” Perez said in the statement. “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.”

Swearengin, a Republican who helped steer Fresno away from the brink of bankruptcy, received the most votes with 1,001,473, followed by Yee, a Democrat, with 878,195, and Perez with 877,714, according to official results from the California Secretary of State’s office. Under state law, the top two finishers move on to the general election regardless of party affiliation.

“I’m looking forward to a healthy debate about our differing visions for state government and how best to use the controller’s office to support economic growth and fiscal stability,” Swearengin said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alison Vekshin in San Francisco at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at Jeffrey Taylor, Stephen West

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