John Perez

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John Perez
John Perez.jpg
California State Assembly District 53
In office
Term ends
December 1, 2014
Years in position 6
Speaker of the House
Base salary$90,526/year
Per diem$141.86/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionJune 3, 2014
First electedNovember 2008
Term limits3 terms (6 years)
Office website
Campaign website
John A. Perez is a Democratic member of the California State Assembly, representing District 53. He was first elected to the chamber in 2008. On December 10, 2009, he was chosen as the Speaker of the House by his Democratic Party colleagues in the state assembly. He was formally elected to the post in a floor vote on January 7, 2010,[1] and sworn in on March 1.[2] Perez is the first openly gay man to hold the position of Speaker of the Assembly in the California State Assembly.[3] He replaced Karen Bass.

Perez is also the chairman of the California Assembly Democratic Caucus.

On October 8, 2013, Pérez announced at a town hall meeting in Los Angeles that he would run for California State Controller in 2014. He sought one of two possible nominations in the primary on June 3, 2014, and finished in third place by a margin of 481 votes behind Betty Yee (D). On July 6, Perez requested a recount in 15 counties, to be paid for by his own campaign. Recount efforts lasted one week before Perez officially conceded the race for second place to Yee.[4][5]


Perez's professional experience includes working as the Political Director of the United Food and Commercial Workers[6] He has served on the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, the Democratic National Committee, and on the boards of the California League of Conservation Voters and Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.

In August 2012, he was included in a list of 20 Latino political rising stars compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle.[7]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Perez served on the following committees:

California Committee Assignments, 2013
Joint Rules


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Perez served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Perez served on these committees:


Perez's sponsored legislation includes:

  • AB 780 - Elections: failsafe ballots
  • AB 1045 - HIV and AIDS reporting
  • AB 1139 - Income taxes: credits: enterprise zones

For details and a full listing of sponsored bills, see the House site.

Disincorporation of Vernon

In 2011, Pérez submitted a bill (AB46) to the California State Legislature to disincorporate Vernon as a city.[8] This was partly done in response to reports of rampant corruption. The Perez plan would have been the first forced disincorporation of a city since Hornitos (in Maricopa County) was disincorporated in 1973. Assemblyman Pérez argued that Vernon lacks a legitimate electorate and postulated that dissolving the city would be the only way to permanently root out corruption. The proposed legislation failed on a 13-17 vote in the California State Senate. Perez heatedly lambasted fellow Democratic legislators Charles Calderon and Kevin de León, saying that they are responsible for any future misdeeds in the city.[9]

Legislative scorecard

Capitol Weekly, California's major weekly periodical covering the state legislature, publishes an annual legislative scorecard to pin down the political or ideological leanings of every member of the legislature based on how they voted on an assortment of bills in the most recent legislative session. The 2009 scores were based on votes on 19 bills, but did not include how legislators voted on the Proposition 1A (2009). On the scorecard, "100" is a perfect liberal score and "0" is a perfect conservative score.[10][11]

On the 2009 Capitol Weekly legislative scorecard, Perez ranked as a 94.[12]



See also: California down ballot state executive elections, 2014

On October 8, 2013, Perez entered the 2014 race for state controller.[13] He sought nomination in the "top-two" primary contest on June 3, 2014, and finished in third place behind fellow Democrat Betty Yee by a razor-thin margin of 481 votes. The difference was narrow enough for Perez to request a recount, which he called off after one week.[5] The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

California Controller, Blanket Primary, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Tammy D. Blair 5% 200,532
     Democratic John Perez 21.7% 877,714
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBetty Yee 21.7% 878,195
     Republican David Evans 21% 850,109
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAshley Swearengin 24.8% 1,001,473
     Green Laura Wells 5.7% 231,352
Total Votes 4,039,375
Election Results via California Secretary of State.

Close contest

In the June 3 primary, Republican Mayor of Fresno Ashley Swearengin secured the first nomination to advance to the general election, but the race for second place was considered too-close-to-call until July 1, when Democrat Betty Yee was named the winner by less than 500 votes out of over 4 million ballots cast, or one-hundredth of one percent.[14] Any registered California voter can request a recount within five days of the official canvassing deadline, however he or she would have to foot the bill. The high cost of a statewide recount works as an effective deterrent to members of the public who might otherwise be compelled to instigate proceedings, leaving the narrowly defeated candidate to make the call. In a statement released after Yee was declared the victor, Pérez, who finished third said, "Since this is one of closest statewide elections in the history of California, we have an obligation to review and ensure that every vote cast is accurately counted."[15] Pérez' campaign held a reported $1.8 cash in hand before the primary, short of the $2.7 million estimated cost of a statewide hand recount.[16]

On July 6, Pérez ordered a recount to take place in 15 counties, including the populous Los Angeles County, where he planned to invest $1 million in hope that home turf advantage might sway the outcome of the race in his favor. One week after the recount began, Perez conceded the second place nomination to Yee.[5][17]


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2012

Perez won re-election in the 2012 election for California State Assembly District 53. Due to redistricting following the 2010 census, he was displaced from District 46. He advanced past the blanket primary on June 5, 2012, defeating Michael Aldapa (D) and Roger Young (D). Perez defeated Jose Trinidad Aguilar (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[18][19]

California State Assembly, District 53, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn A. Perez Incumbent 82.8% 61,651
     Republican Jose Trinidad Aguilar 17.2% 12,803
Total Votes 74,454
California State Assembly, District 53 Blanket Primary, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Michael Aldapa 14.5% 2,494
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Perez Incumbent 58.5% 10,051
     Democratic Roger Young 10.1% 1,738
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJose Trinidad Aguilar 16.8% 2,889
Total Votes 17,172

Campaign themes


Perez's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[20]

  • Jobs and the Economy
Excerpt: "John believes getting Californians back to work should be our number one priority. In one of his first acts as Speaker, John pushed legislation to create thousands of jobs by expanding green businesses in California."
  • Education
Excerpt: "John understands the importance of quality education to our children’s future. A world-class education is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Today our children are competing with kids from India and China – and all over the world."
  • Healthcare
Excerpt: "One in four Californians lack health insurance. Millions more struggle with rising health care costs. John believes that affordable health care is critical to creating jobs and getting our economy back on track."
  • The Environment
Excerpt: "John knows that clean air and clean water are vital to the quality of life of every Californian. As a former board member of the California League of Conservation Voters, John understands California’s environmental challenges."
  • Budget
Excerpt: "John understands that a key to fixing our state budget is to ensure public input and independent review. He pledged that the budget will not be written behind closed doors."


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2010

Perez won re-election to the 46th District seat in 2010. He had no opposition.[21]


In 2008 Perez was elected to the California State Assembly District 46. Perez (D) finished with 51,556 votes while his opponent Manuel Aldana (R) finished with 9,180 votes.[22]

California State Assembly District 46
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png John Perez (D) 51,556
Manuel Aldana (R) 9,180

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Perez is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Perez raised a total of $5,657,380 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 14, 2013.[23]

John Perez's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 California State Assembly, District 53 Won $2,632,105
2010 California State Assembly, District 46 Won $2,058,587
2008 California State Assembly, District 46 Won $966,688
Grand Total Raised $5,657,380


Perez won re-election to the California State Assembly in 2012. During that election cycle, Perez raised a total of $2,632,105.
California State Assembly 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to John Perez's campaign in 2012
Food & Commercial Workers Region 8 States Council$23,400
Northern California Carpenters Regional Council$15,600
Operating Engineers Local 3$15,600
California Professional Firefighters$15,600
Food & Commercial Workers Local 324$15,600
Total Raised in 2012$2,632,105
Source:Follow the Money


In 2010, Perez raised $2,058,587 in contributions.[24]

His four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
AT&T $23,400
California State Pipe Trades Council $15,600
Longshore & Warehouse Local 13 $15,600
California Dental Association $15,600


Below are Perez's top 5 campaign contributors in the 2008 election:[25]

Contributor 2008 total
Food & Commercial Workers Region 8 States Council $14,400
CA Medical Assoc $14,400
California State Council of Service Employees $14,400
Building & Construction Trades Council of CA $14,400
Food & Commercial Workers Local 8 $14,400

Other top donors included the California Teachers Association, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, and more than a dozen labor unions. Altogether, Perez raised nearly $1 million for his 2008 campaign, earning him a reputation as a "prodigious fundraiser."


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in California

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Arizona scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the California State Legislature was in session from December 3, 2012 to September 13, 2013.[26]


In 2012, the California State Legislature was in session from January 4 to August 31.[27]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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  1. Sacramento Bee, "Pérez elected Assembly speaker, says he'll end budget talk secrecy," January 8, 2010
  2. Los Angeles Times, "California Assembly swears in its first gay speaker," March 2, 2010
  3. Sacramento Bee, "Perez chosen Assembly speaker," December 10, 2009
  4. "Capitol Alert," "John A. Perez announces run for state controller in 2014," accessed October 8, 2013.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Sacramento Bee, "Perez calls off recount in California Controller race," July 18, 2014
  6. Project Vote Smart, "Biography," accessed March 13, 2014
  7. San Francisco Chronicle, "20 Latino political rising stars of 2012 (with PHOTO GALLERY)," August 25, 2012
  8. The Economist, "Small-town corruption: Business paradise or den of thieves?," May 7, 2011
  9. Los Angeles Times, "State Senate rejects controversial plan to disband city of Vernon," August 29, 2011
  10. Capitol Weekly, "Capitol Weekly's Legislative Scorecard," December 17, 2009
  11. Fox and Hounds Daily, "Random Thoughts on the Political Scene," December 18, 2009
  12. Capitol Weekly, "2009 Capitol Weekly State Legislative Scorecard (Archived)," accessed March 13, 2014
  13. John Perez for Controller 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed November 12, 2013
  14. Sacramento Bee, "Capitol Alert: California controller's race among tightest in U.S. since 2000," July 1, 2014
  15. John Pérez for Controller 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed July 2, 2014
  16., "Controller 2014: Why the cost of a recount favors Betty Yee," June 28, 2014
  17. The Los Angeles Times, "John Pérez calls for recount in tight race for state controller," July 6, 2014
  18. California Secretary of State, "Official primary candidate list," accessed March 13, 2014
  19. California Secretary of State, "Official 2012 Primary election results," accessed March 13, 2014
  20. Campaign website, Issues
  21. California Secretary of State, "Official 2010 General election results," accessed March 13, 2014
  22. California Secretary of State, "Official 2008 General election results," accessed March 13, 2014
  23. Follow the Money, "Perez, John," accessed September 14, 2013
  24. Follow the Money, "2010 contributions," accessed December 23, 2013
  25. Follow the Money, "2008 Campaign contributions," accessed March 13, 2014
  26. StateScape, "Session schedules," accessed July 15, 2014
  27. StateScape, "Session schedules," accessed July 15, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Betsy Butler (D)
California Assembly District 53
Succeeded by
Preceded by
California State Assembly District 46
Succeeded by
Adrin Nazarian (D)