California down ballot state executive elections, 2014

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California Down Ballot State Executive Elections

Primary Date:
June 3, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

California State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Governor Lieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney General
Down Ballot
Treasurer, Controller, Superintendent, Insurance Commissioner

Table of contents
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Commissioner of Insurance
Key deadlines
Recent news
Flag of California.png
Four down ballot state executive positions are up for election in the state of California in 2014. The general election will be held on November 4, 2014.

California is one of three states to use a blanket primary, or top-two system, which allows all candidates to run and all voters to vote but only moves the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the general election.[1][2][3]

Office Incumbent Assumed Office Incumbent running? General Election Candidates 2015 Winner Partisan Switch?
Treasurer Bill Lockyer
Bill Lockyer.jpg
2007 Term-limited Democratic Party John Chiang
Republican Party Greg Conlon
Democratic Party John Chiang No
Controller John Chiang
John Chiang.jpg
2007 Term-limited, running for treasurer[4] Democratic Party Betty Yee
Republican Party Ashley Swearengin
Democratic Party Betty Yee No
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
2011 Yes[5] Independent Tom Torlakson
Independent Marshall Tuck
Independent Tom Torlakson No
Commissioner of Insurance Dave Jones
Dave Jones.jpg
2011 Yes[6] Democratic Party Dave Jones
Republican Party Ted Gaines
Democratic Party Dave Jones No


Current incumbent


The treasurer is the state's banker, directed to "receive and keep in the vaults of the State Treasury or deposit in banks or credit unions all moneys belonging to the state..."[7] He disburses funds to cover state expenditures based on warrants from the controller's office, approves state bond issuances, and manages the state's investments, including state employee pension funds.

Beyond his administrative duties, the treasurer chairs 13 state boards and commissions, from the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. He sits as a member on 45 additional committees.


Current incumbent


The controller's primary responsibility is to track and control the disbursement of the state of California's money. Besides producing the warrants under which money is released from the state treasury, the controller's office audits personnel and payroll transactions, administers the Uniform State Payroll System for state employees, and "determine[s] legality and accuracy of every claim against the State."[8] Before allowing the state's money to be dispersed, the controller's office "determines the legality and accuracy of all claims against the State through the performance of prepayment audits." Beyond his financial responsibilities, the controller's duties contain a public relations element; he is responsible for informing "the public of the State's financial condition," and "financial transactions of city, county and district governments."[8]

The controller's office has several other miscellaneous fiscal duties, including a number related to tax administration; it administers the state's unclaimed property program, the Property Tax Postponement Program and collects the state's estate, inheritance and gift taxes. It also audits the use of gasoline and property taxes.

Superintendent of public instruction

Current incumbent


The superintendent of public instruction is the administrative head of the California Department of Education; he or she executes the policies made by the state Board of Education and oversees the operation of the state's public school system. The superintendent provides local and county school boards with blank teachers certificates, oversees all state education employees, organizes adult education programs, evaluates the performance of public schools and manages departmental facilities and resources, among other duties.[9]

Commissioner of insurance

Current incumbent


The commissioner, as head of the California Department of Insurance, is responsible for regulating the state's insurance industry. The department licenses insurance providers, approves all rate or premium increases, investigates consumer complaints and allegations of fraud, analyzes insurance policy issues, and supervises the financial well-being of insurance companies. The department is also responsible for winding down the operations of bankrupt insurance companies and liquidating their assets. It also publishes a variety of information for consumers, including insurance news, guides and legal info.

See also