In a state dominated by Democrats, a Republican topped the results for State Controller. Ashley Swearengin emerged from Tuesday’s primary election in California with 24% of the vote, ahead of the tight race between the next three finishers.
John Perez, a Democrat, sits in second after preliminary results from Tuesday’s voting with 21.7%, followed ever so closely by Republican David Evans in third at 21.6% and fourth place candidate Democrat Betty T. Yee with 21.5%.
Reports and speculators prior to the election placed Perez as the expected victor, but Swearengin pulled out ahead of Perez with room to spare.
Swearengin is the Mayor of Fresno and received the weighty LA Times endorsement. The Sacramento Bee stated in an endorsement of Swearengin, along with Yee, “As Fresno mayor, Swearengin presides over a city that was hard hit during the recession. With the City Council, she made many unpopular cuts. Her city avoided bankruptcy and appears to be on the mend ever so slowly.”
The Bee also noted Swearengin’s controversial opinion on high-speed rail. “She also is willing to cross many in her Republican Party. For example, she supports the proposed high-speed rail system, correctly viewing it as a way for the Central Valley to emerge from the economic doldrums,” said the paper. The high-speed rail project has been greatly opposed by a number of Republicans and some Democrats as well.
Now Swearengin will move on to battle it out with the second place candidate, who appears will be John Perez, in this very tight race.