Democrat John Chiang was reelected to a second term as state controller, once again besting Republican Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Moorpark). Chiang, who once worked as an attorney in the controller's office, returns to the job for another four-year term, according to early vote tallies.
The controller is the state's fiscal steward, monitoring cash flow and writing all of the state's checks. The controller also sits on the Franchise Tax Board, the Board of Equalization and the State Lands Commission.
Chiang received strong backing from organized labor during his campaign, while Strickland received the backing of Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman and business groups. Chiang made headlines earlier this year when his office investigated the finances of the city of Bell at the request of Bell's interim city manager.
Chiang's office later posted a list of salaries and pension benefits for local government officials across the state. Strickland criticized Chiang's office for reacting slowly to the Bell scandal and said his office demonstrated a lack of leadership in its handling of the situation.
-- Anthony York
Photo credit: Armando Arorizo /Bloomberg