Betty Yee launches campaign for California Governor

The former state Controller is hoping to succeed Newsom in California’s top office.

Former state Controller Betty Yee announced her candidacy for California governor in 2026 on Wednesday. 

Yee aims to succeed outgoing Gov. Gavin Newsom in what is turning out to be a crowded field of candidates. 


The big picture: If elected, Yee would become the first woman to hold the position of California governor.

  • Yee, a San Francisco native with Chinese immigrant parents, currently serves as the vice chair of the California Democratic Party.
  • Her campaign priorities include tackling affordability, bringing transparency to Sacramento, and addressing the climate crisis.

Driving the news: The race to replace Newsom will be a competitive Democratic contest, featuring candidates such as Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, outgoing state Senate leader Toni Atkins and Attorney General Rob Bonta.

  • Yee has previously served as the budget director for Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and as a member of the California State Board of Equalization and state controller.
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