SAN FRANCISCO - Former California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, called off his effort to get a recount in the primary state controller, pledging his support to fellow Democrat Betty Yee.
"While I strongly believe that completing this process would result in me advancing to the General Election, it is clear that there are significant deficiencies in the process itself which make continuing the recount problematic," Pérez said in a statement released July 18. "Even in the effort so far, we have found uncounted ballots, but there is simply not enough time to see this process through to the end, given the fact that counties must begin printing ballots in the next few weeks in order to ensure that overseas and military voters can receive their ballots in a timely manner."
Pérez filed a recount request earlier this month after the tight June 3 primary election left him 481 votes behind Yee, a member of the state's elected Board of Equalization, for second place.
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, topped the primary, securing a spot on the November general election ballot. The top two finishers advance to the general election.
Under state law, any registered voter can ask for a recount, but he or she must cover the costs. In addition, the requester can say which counties to count first and which precincts in those counties to start with.
"I began this process because every vote deserves to be counted fairly and accurately, and as the recount has made clear, California needs to rethink our approach and incorporate best practices from across the nation," Pérez said.
As the recount progressed, it became clear that the amount of time it would require would crowd into the general election timeline.
John Chiang, the current controller, can't run again because of term limits. He is running to replace the termed-out Bill Lockyer as treasurer. Chiang, a Democrat, will face Republican Greg Conlon in November.