Yee, Chiang Among Successful Statewide Candidates

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Although Democrats suffered serious losses across the country in Tuesday’s election, Asian American Democratic office-holders in California fared well in statewide races.

State Controller John Chiang was elected state treasurer and Board of Equalization member Betty Yee will be the new controller.

State Controller John Chiang was elected state treasurer and Board of Equalization member Betty Yee will be the new controller.

• Republican Neel Kashkari, who would have been the state’s first Asian American governor, lost to incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown, 2,147,647 (41.3 percent) to 3,049,639 (58.78 percent). A son of Indian immigrants, Kashkari was managing director of global equity for Pimco in Newport Beach.

• Democrat Betty Yee, a member of the Board of Equalization, defeated Republican Ashley Swearengin, mayor of Fresno, 2,651,203 (52.7 percent) to 2,374,907 (47.3 percent) to become state controller. In the June primary, Yee and fellow Democrat John Perez, former Assembly speaker, were in a dead heat for second place. Yee was finally declared runner-up to Swearengin and advanced to the general election.

• Democrat John Chiang, currently the state controller, was elected state treasurer with 2,915,159 votes (57.7 percent) to Republican Greg Conlon’s 2,140,764 (42.3 percent). In his capacity as controller, Chiang also serves as the fifth member of the Board of Equalization. Conlon is a former member of the California Public Utilities Commission.

• Democrat Kamala Harris was re-elected as state attorney general with 2,858,686 votes (56.3 percent) to Republican Ronald Gold’s 2,222,781 (43.7 percent). Harris was previously San Francisco’s district attorney. Gold is a former deputy attorney general.

• California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin Liu, an appointee of Gov. Brown, was retained with 2,573,791 “yes” votes (66.7 percent) to 1,287,007 “no” votes (33.3 percent). Liu was previously associate dean and professor of law at UC Berkeley.

• Democrat Fiona Ma, former Assembly speaker pro tem and former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was elected to succeed Yee as representative of the Board of Equalization’s 2nd District, which covers 24 coastal counties from Santa Barbara to the Oregon border. Ma received 943,351 votes (67.4 percent) to Republican James Theis’ 456,205 (32.6 percent). Theis is an organic food manager.

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