John Perez Calls Off State Controller Recount

County officials across the state breathed a sigh of relief Friday, as former Assembly Speaker John Pérez called off the state controller recount and conceded the race to fellow Democrat Betty Yee.

Pérez’s move came just days before a hand recount was set to begin in San Bernardino County. Kern County would have entered its seventh day of counting today

“There is simply not enough time to see this process through to the end, given the fact that counties must begin printing ballots [for the November election] in the next few weeks,” Pérez said in a statement. His sentiments echo those of county officials, who had expressed reservations about their ability to conduct the recounts in a timely and efficient manner. 

Pérez also took a moment to criticize the recount process, saying it is riddled with “significant deficiencies” that make recounts problematic. Were it not for those deficiencies, he still believes he may have had a chance. 

On July 6, Pérez requested hand recounts in 15 counties where he defeated Yee. Because he requested the recount, Pérez was responsible for the expense of the tabulations. After spending $24,000 in Kern County, Pérez had gained just three votes. In Imperial County, where Pérez spent another $6,000, he ended up with an additional seven.

Betty Yee, who currently sits on the State Board of Equalization, will now face off against Republican challenger Ashely Swearengin in the November election. But the legacy of the recount may soon be felt statewide. Citing the tight race for state controller, Assemblyman Kevin Mullin (D-San Mateo) said he plans to introduce legislation that could require automatic statewide recounts when results are close

Read more about Pérez’s announcement here.