The hotly contested race for state controller, one of the top financial posts in California, remained too close to call on Tuesday night as primary election results continued to be tallied.
Republican Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Assemblyman John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) and Betty
Despite California's primary system, which sends the top two finishers to the general election regardless of their party preference, most, if not all, of the statewide races this year feature a matchup between a Democrat and a Republican.
Dan Schnur, who tried to shake up California politics by running for secretary of state unaffiliated with any political party, fell short.
In the nonpartisan race for school superintendent, incumbent
The tightest primary contest was for state controller, who makes sure California's bills get paid on time and oversees a team of auditors examining state and local finances.
Swearengin was widely expected to lock down one of the spots for November, and much attention focused on Pérez and Yee fighting over the other.
Pérez, who was Assembly speaker until last month, banked on his larger war chest, which allowed him to run television ads touting his work on the state budget alongside Gov. Jerry Brown. The former labor operative from Los Angeles also enjoyed strong support from unions.
Yee raised far less money and tried to rally support from Democratic activists at the party's convention this year. She's served more than two terms on the state tax board and previously worked in Gov. Gray Davis' Department of Finance.
Both of them pledged to make extensive use of the controller's power to audit state and local finances.
Swearengin has touted her experience as mayor in Fresno, a city once on the brink of bankruptcy. She is considered one of the Republican Party's rising stars and one of its best chances to end its shutout in statewide races.
Evans, the former California City mayor who is chief financial officer for a chain of car dealerships, was also in the running Tuesday night.
Incumbent Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, a Democrat, held a strong lead Tuesday, but he still faces a rematch in November against Republican challenger
Third-place finisher Nathalie Hrizi, a San Francisco school teacher from the Peace and Freedom Party, is out of the race.
The commissioner runs the Department of Insurance, with 1,300 employees; licenses, regulates and examines the financial strength of insurance companies; deals with public complaints and questions about the insurance industry; and enforces state in-
surance laws and regulations.
In addition to the statewide races, 11 candidates competed for four seats on the Board of Equalization, which administers tax policies.