GOP candidates for controller, secretary of state end June in debt

GOP candidates for controller, secretary of state end June in debt
Ashley Swearengin began her general election campaign for state controller in the red. Her opponent, Democrat Betty Yee, was also in weak financial shape after the June primary. (Rod Lamkey Jr. / MCT)

The Republicans vying to be controller and secretary of state entered the general election in the red, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state Thursday.

Pete Peterson, a university civic engagement leader who is running to be the state's elections chief, had $21,811 in the bank and $85,204 in unpaid bills as of June 30, according to the reports. Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin, a candidate for controller who is considered one of the state GOP's brightest prospects, reported a bank balance of $133,118 and $258,226 in debt for the same time period.

Swearengin's Democratic rival, state Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, reported that she was in weak financial shape as well, with an $84,042 campaign war chest and $18,135 in debt, according to the reports. Both women spent roughly the same amount -- more than $600,000 -- in the first six months of this year, the bulk of it before the tight primary election in June.

State Sen. Alex Padilla, the Democrat running for Secretary of State who competed with seven other candidates in the primary, reported spending nearly $1.7 million through June 30, and entering July with a bank balance of  $383,613, according to the reports. He has $28,057 in unpaid bills.

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