One of the closest statewide elections in California history is over.
Former Assembly Speaker John Pérez is conceding the second spot on the state controller ballot in November to Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, ending a 15-county recount effort after just one week of counting votes. Yee finished last month's primary election fewer than 500 votes ahead of Perez.
The move comes after Pérez picked up only a handful of votes in Kern and Imperial counties. San Bernardino County had been scheduled to begin counting votes Monday.
In a statement, Pérez said, “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.” A survey conducted by the Secretary of State's office had found a full recount could have taken until early 2015 to complete.
The Los Angeles County Democrat insisted, however, that despite his single-digit gains, he “strongly believe(d)” he would have prevailed over Yee if all 15 counties had completed their recounts. Yee ignored that assertion, issuing a statement thanking Pérez for, "Doing the right thing in recognizing that the recount was unlikely to reverse the outcome of the election."