Controller: Republican Chen, but which Democrat?

Lanhee Chen, candidate for controller, gives at interview at CalMatters in Sacramento
Lanhee Chen, candidate for controller, gives an interview at CalMatters in Sacramento.
(Martin do Nascimento / CalMatters)

Republican Lanhee Chen had 36% of the vote for state controller in partial returns as of early Wednesday, with three Democrats — State Board of Equalization Chairperson Malia Cohen, state Sen. Steve Glazer, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin and Monterey Park City Councilmember Yvonne Yiu — trailing.


The conventional wisdom turned out to be true: Republican Lanhee Chen and one of four Democrats would advance to the general election for state controller — one of the more contested statewide races in the primary.

Chen, the sole Republican in the race, earned widespread support from the GOP, as well as endorsements from several major newspaper editorial boards. No Republican has won statewide office since 2006, but he had 36% of the vote in partial returns as of early Wednesday.

In a statement, Chen said: “To win in November will require an effort that hasn’t been seen in our state for a long time.”

That left four Democrats vying for the second spot: State Board of Equalization Chairperson Malia Cohen, state Sen. Steve Glazer, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin and Monterey Park City Councilmember Yvonne Yiu.

In the partial returns, Cohen had 22%, Yiu had 16% and Steve Glazer had 12%.

Yiu, a former financial advisor, raised the most funds by far — but only because she put nearly $6 million of her own money into the campaign. The California Chamber of Commerce backed Glazer, while labor groups spent big for Cohen, who is seeking to become only the second Black woman elected statewide.

Coverage from our partners at CalMatters and The Los Angeles Times of the 2022 race for California controller.

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