Former State Controller Betty Yee Officially Enters 2026 Gubernatorial Race

by Evan Symon at

Former State Controller Betty Yee announced Wednesday she will run for California Governor in 2026.

A graduate of UC Berkeley and Golden Gate University, Yee began her career in the Legislature in a variety of positions before becoming then-Governor Gray Davis’ Chief Deputy Director for the Budget in 1999. Removed from the position following the recall of Davis in 2003, Yee became the Chief Deputy to Board of Equalization member Carole Migden. Within a year, she was moved to the Board itself following Migden being elected to the state Senate, and was soon elected in on her own.

Yee proved to be a controversial Board member, being best-known for her attacks on e-commerce retailers like Amazon, making them collect state sales tax on their website. Yee remained on the Board for over a decade before being elected as the next Controller of the state in 2014. Yee served two terms as Controller, and was known for her tardiness in releasing financial reports on the state, being years behind on releasing several annual reports. In addition, she had trouble keeping track of checks written out by the state, losing track of around 49 million at one point in 2021. She was also accused of giving inside information to a mask company during the COVID-19 pandemic to better bid on a state contract.