The California secretary of state's website shows former state Assembly Speaker John Perez widening his lead over fellow Democrat Betty Yee to more than 1,800 votes. But, experienced vote counters tell IVN that Yee is poised to edge Perez out.The disconnect is rooted in the state's byzantine vote counting process. The current counts already include verified results from most of the California counties, including Perez's home turf in L.A. However, already counted ballot results from smaller Northern California counties have not been added into the results posted on the state site.
Yee racked up big margins on Perez throughout the northern part of the state and the last batch of votes is expected to be sufficient to put Yee into the general election race against Republican Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin.
Drawing an Asian woman from the Bay Area was definitely not what Swearengin backers were rooting for in a year where drought could make water politics a defining issue in November. Historically, Northern California voters unite on a bipartisan basis against Central and Southern Californians on water.
Central California voters also cross party lines on water. But, the voter-rich south has never seen the partisan divide bridged by the geographical self interest on water.
Higher water rates and a bad fire season could change all of that. But, have no doubt, Republicans would have much preferred a matchup against the L.A.-based speaker of the Assembly.
Yee, whose only elected position has been as a member of the State Board of Equalization, also carries virtually no voting record for Republicans to take pot shots at.