Republican Lanhee Chen is leading the statewide race in California for the office of Controller, which oversees public funds, as of primary election results reported Wednesday morning.
With vote-by-mail ballots still being counted, Chen had won 33% of the vote, 100,000 votes ahead of the second-place finisher, Democrat Malia M. Cohen, who won just over 20%.
Among this strong field, we believe Chen is the best choice for this position. Why? Because he is a sharp thinker with experience analyzing large financial systems, and because the controller should be as independent from the party in power as possible.
Democrats control state government and we support their priorities to combat climate change, preserve abortion rights and advance economic and racial justice. But California’s governance is falling short of its ideals. And that’s despite several years of strong revenue that have pumped billions more into education, healthcare and alleviating homelessness. Yet too few students can read at grade level, too many Medi-Cal patients can’t see a doctor and too many people sleep on the streets.
If results hold, Chen would be the first Republican in many years to lead a statewide race. Republican Ashley Swearengin won the 2014 California primary for the same office; however, she lost the general election to current incumbent Betty Yee.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.