Former state controller could be California’s first woman and Asian governor

Former state controller could be California’s first woman and Asian governorFormer state controller could be California’s first woman and Asian governor
via Betty Yee for California / YouTube
Former California Controller Betty Yee has officially thrown her hat into the ring for the state’s gubernatorial race in 2026.
Key points:
  • Yee, 66, announced her bid for California’s top executive office on Wednesday.
  • If elected, she would be the state’s first woman and first Asian American governor.
The details:
  • Yee’s campaign is centered on addressing the state’s affordability crisis, increasing transparency in governance and tackling climate change. She points to the growing financial burdens faced by families as a driving force behind her candidacy, advocating for solutions to make the state more livable for all its residents.
  • Born in San Francisco to Chinese immigrant parents, Yee grew up helping manage her family’s drycleaning business. She is a product of public schools, holding a bachelor’s degree in sociology from University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s in public administration from Golden Gate University.

  • From her early days advocating for healthcare and environmental protection to her tenure as former Gov. Gray Davis’ budget director, Yee has demonstrated her commitment to public service and fiscal responsibility. She currently serves as vice chair of the California Democratic Party.
  • As California’s controller, she made significant strides in managing the state’s finances, uncovering billions in mismanaged spending and advocating for fair practices in the insurance and pension sectors, according to her campaign. She also stood up to the Trump administration to defend California’s coastline and expand coastal access for residents.
  • The race to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom features a diverse array of candidates, including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Superintendent Tony Thurmond and state Senate leader Toni Atkins. Attorney General Rob Bonta, who is Filipino, is also considering running for office.
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