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2018 election

Emily's List makes makes its picks for three statewide races in California

State Controller Betty Yee (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)
State Controller Betty Yee (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Emily’s List, an influential Democratic organization that promotes women running for office, on Monday endorsed three candidates running for statewide office in California.

The group backed Eleni Kounalakis for lieutenant governor, Fiona Ma for state treasurer and Betty Yee, who is running for reelection as state controller.

Kounalakis of San Francisco, a former U.S. ambassador to Hungary and fundraiser for former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, is in a race for lieutenant governor that is shaping up to be one of 2018’s most competitive down-ballot contests in California.

Among her Democratic rivals are state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa), the favorite of many establishment California Democrats;  Los Angeles physician Asif Mahmood, who also helped raise money for Clinton’s presidential campaign; and San Francisco Bay Area attorney Jeff Bleich, a former U.S. ambassador to Australia and special counsel to President Obama.

Neither Ma — who currently serves on the state Board of Equalization — nor Yee face a serious challenge so far.

"With women’s health care access, the environment, immigrant rights and middle-class economic opportunity all under attack by Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers in Washington, California families and communities need tough leaders in top statewide elected positions to fight for them,” Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily's List, said in a written statement.

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