Pot politics could inhale California controller’s race


By James Poulos | Cal Watchdog

The California Republican party has a lot riding on Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin.

She’s the only prominent Republican who carried a strong lead into the recent “jungle” primary elections for statewide office, under which the top two candidates, regardless of party (or no party), advance to a November runoff. Swearengin sat atop the field of candidates for state controller.

While she cruised to a first place finish, her Democratic opponents fought tooth and nail for second place, with Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee besting Assemblyman John Perez, D-Los Angeles, after a brief recount.

The positioning helped fuel an impression throughout the state GOP that Swearengin was a strong party asset. In addition to attributes typically associated with “electable” Republicans, Swearengin seemed capable of actually notching electoral victories – unlike most recent GOP statewide candidates.

Now, however, Swearengin’s fortunes have become more uncertain. And, remarkably, marijuana may play a quietly decisive role in the outcome of her campaign.

at Cal Watchdog.