Republican Peterson and Democrat Padilla advance to secretary of state runoff

Republican Peterson and Democrat Padilla advance to secretary of state runoff
Four of the candidates for secretary of state are, from left, Derek Cressman, Alex Padilla, Pete Peterson and Dan Schnur, shown during a recent candidate forum. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Republican Pete Peterson and Democratic state Sen. Alex Padilla of Pacoima received the most votes in Tuesday's primary election for secretary of state and will face off in the November general election.

The contest was reshaped in March, when state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), a leading contender, dropped out following his federal indictment on charges of accepting payments for official favors and conspiring to traffic in firearms.

Despite dropping out, Yee received more than 287,000 vote, placing third in the contest.

No-party-preference candidate Dan Schnur, Democrat Derek Cressman and Democrat Jeffrey H. Drobman trailed Yee. There are likely thousands of provisional ballots still to be counted in the coming days, but if the results stand, Peterson and Padilla will face off in November.

Yee’s arrest meant candidates in the race focused much of their attention on ethics issues, with several proposing tougher rules on campaign fundraising. The seat was open because current Secretary of State

Debra Bowen

is prevented by term limits from seeking reelection.

Pete Peterson is executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, a think tank at Pepperdine University.

Another Republican was also in the race: Roy Allmond, who is a program technician in the secretary of state's office.

David Curtis, a designer in an architectural studio, was a Green Party candidate.