The voters are debating who should be the next California’s chief fiscal regulator and Republicans still awaiting confirmation that the contest for controller gives voters the GOP one of the most effective chances of winning in the state with deep blue skies.
Malia Cohen is an Democrat who sits on a tax board for the state she was ahead of Republican Lanhee Chen, who had 57% of the votes following 29% the ballots were recorded on Tuesday night.
Chen Chen, a fellow in policy in the conservative think tank, the Hoover Institution, is vying to end his party’s losing streak of 16 years in statewide elections.
State controllers, who has been which was held from 2015 to present from Democrat Betty Yee, has the power to distribute state funds and oversee the audit of agencies of the government. The controller is also as a member of more than 70 commissions and boards which include one that encourages renewable energy production , and one that issues bonds to nonprofit colleges.
Chen who was who was a former policy advisor for Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign was the winner of the June primary however, the four Democrats contesting him received more votes. Chen is portrayed as someone who could be an independent watchdog for State finances. In an interview in the last month on KCRA-TV, Chen said Californians want to know where the money they pay for in the first place.
“I cannot imagine a more crucial initiative to help bring our state back on the right track than an office supposed to be a watchdog of taxpayers but is really just an empty stamp, “Chen declared.
Cohen who was the former chairman of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Finance and Budget Committee Cohen wants to make it simpler to report fraud following the revelation that over $20 billion in fraud-ridden unemployment checks were handed out during the outbreak. She hopes to use her auditing skills to spot issues within the organizations and advocate for solutions to stop these from happening again.
In the event of a re-election, Cohen is likely to be first state’s Black controller.
“I also feel I have a responsibility to encourage and motivate other women who are aspiring to be elected, as well as other members who are particularly from communities of color who would like to also run in the race for public office.” Cohen said in an interview with CalMatters.
The race has attracted significant attention, support and donations from the GOP both within and outside of the state. The state has nearly twice the amount that are registered Democrats in the state as Republicans. Chen has raised $3.3 million in contributions to his campaign throughout the year, up to the deadline for reporting in October which is more than double the amount Cohen collected during the same time period. Cohen even raised more that Brian Dahle, the Republican candidate for governor.
Chen did not wait till after his primary to acknowledge that he didn’t have a vote for the former president Donald Trump in 2016 or the 2020 election. The Cohen campaign sought to link him to Republicans advocating for legislation against abortion even though he claims that he is in favor of abortion access and the controller doesn’t have any responsibility for influencing abortion policies in any direction.
Prior the Election Day, the Chen campaign questioned Cohen’s finances following Cohen was named in the Los Angeles Times reported that her home she bought in 2006 was repossessed and an official license for her business was suspended due to tax issues. Cohen has called the foreclosure of the condo as exploitative. She claims that the suspension of her business license was a result of a change of address.