Rarely, perhaps never, has the race for second place been so close and so closely watched for a statewide office in California.
And for now, it appears the slight ... perhaps final ... edge goes to Betty Yee over fellow Democrat John Pérez.
The apparent win (again, for second place) came after elections officials in rural Lake County, the last county in the state to finish its official count, reported the tally early Monday evening. That tally showed Pérez won the county by 1,041 votes -- a good showing, but not a wide enough margin to overtake Yee's previous statewide lead.
The Monday report from Lake County shows that, pending any other data, Yee edged Pérez by a mere 484 votes out of more than 4 million votes cast in the race for state controller.
The winner of the June primary was Republican Ashley Swearengin, the incumbent mayor of Fresno. But her place on the ballot was never in question. What has been the source of enormous statewide interest in the almost four weeks since Election Day was who came in second -- the only other candidate, under California's top-two primary system, whose name will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.