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john perez state controller

Open Letter to John Perez: Please Concede and Support Betty Yee for Controller

Like many Californians, we watched the prolonged count of ballots in the race for state controller in our June 3 primary election. As Democrats who value party unity, we hoped this fight was behind us. As progressives who like to see the public interest put first, we are disappointed John Perez has put his own interest paramount in launching a divisive recount. We urge him to call it off and support fellow Democrat Betty Yee, who finished second behind Republican Ashley Swearingen.

We are pleased that Betty, a Democrat we know well, has a chance to compete and win on November 4--and serve our state ably in the controller's job. We know John well, too. And it concerns us that instead of looking at the party's best interest and giving his fellow Democrat his immediate support for her fall runoff against a Republican, he is demanding a recount and spending his remaining campaign money on that diversion.

Now is not the time to rehash an election or put self above service to party and state.

Californians now are not just eager but yearning for statewide leaders who embody core values for voters in our resilient Golden State: transparency, ethics in public service, and accountability--a real departure from what we’ve seen from some in Sacramento in recent months. We need leaders focused not on their own promotion or aggrandizement, but on the common good.

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With three incumbent state senators suspended, there's stigma enough on politics in our state. Now is not the time to rehash an election or put self above service to party and state. Now is the time to motivate our party's grassroots members to support Democrats, to vote, and to entrust us with leadership responsibility for our state.

Now is the time for Democrats to move forward and unite behind the strongest candidate for the controller’s office. The votes have been confirmed in what was a close race, and Betty Yee has emerged as the clear winner. Now is the time for John Perez to make the right decision, show grace after what was a hard-fought campaign, and call off his recount and concede and support Betty Yee and other Democrats heading to November 4.


Ron Andrade and Lori Vandermeir

Ron Andrade is director of the American Indian Commission in Los Angeles. Lori Vandermeir is president of the Orange County chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW).