Perez ponders recount in controller race

State officials say every vote has been counted from last month's primary, but Assemblyman John A. Pérez is not ready to concede in the controller's race.

The Los Angeles Democrat is 481 votes behind Betty Yee, a Bay Area Democrat and a member of the Board of Equalization. It's a tiny margin in a contest with more than 4 million ballots cast.

In a statement, Pérez said his team is considering whether to call for a recount.

"Since this is one of closest statewide elections in the history of California, we have an obligation to review and ensure that every vote cast is accurately counted," he said.

Recounts in statewide contests are rare and costly. Although any registered voter can request one, he or she would have to foot the bill.

Pérez and Yee have been battling for second place in the primary; Ashley Swearengin, the Republican mayor of Fresno, has already secured first place. The top two candidates in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their party affiliation.

One day after the June 3 primary, Pérez seemed confident he would come out ahead of Yee.

"I am excited to announce that after last night's results were counted, we are headed to the runoff with Republican Ashley Swearengin," he said in a statement. "In the coming days, counties will be counting late absentee ballots and we are confident that they will continue to strengthen our position to win in November."

But on Monday night, Yee declared victory when long-awaited results from Lake County appeared to secure her spot on the November ballot.

"I want to thank the voters of California for their trust and support," she said in a statement. "With the campaign now behind us, I call upon all Democrats to unite in the effort to hold this vital position as California's chief financial officer."

Follow @chrismegerian for more updates from Sacramento