Political Notebook

Swearengin, Peterson have best showings among GOP statewide candidates

The semi-official results are in from last month’s election, and Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin turned in one of the best — but not the best — performance of any Republican seeking statewide office.

Swearengin won 46% of the vote in the state controller’s race, losing to Bay Area Democrat Betty Yee, who won 54%. That makes Swearengin’s losing margin 8 percentage points.

Secretary of State candidate Pete Peterson did the best of any Republican seeking statewide office. He won 46.4% of the vote to Alex Padilla’s 53.6%, a losing margin of 7.2 percentage points.

This was all as predicted.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, it goes downhill from there, as Democrats again captured every statewide office in the election.

At the absolute bottom is the man at the top of the ticket — Neel Kashkari. He got waxed in the gubernatorial race by Gov. Jerry Brown, who won 60% of the vote. Kashkari won just 40% of the vote, and when the top of the ticket performs that poorly it makes it difficult for those below him.

In between Kashkari at the bottom and Swearengin and Peterson at the top are the insurance commissioner, attorney general, lieutenant governor and treasurer races, where Republicans won between 41.2% and 42.8% of the vote. By that measure, both Peterson and Swearengin performed admirably, though in losing causes.

With the exception of Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties, Peterson and Swearengin also won every Central Valley county from Kern in the south to Tehama in the north.