The speculation is over: Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez announced Wednesday he will run for state controller next year.
The termed-out Los Angeles Democrat opened a campaign account the same day and funded it with $1.5 million bankrolled while in the Assembly, his political strategist, Doug Herman, said.
Board of Equalization member Betty Yee has also announced her candidacy. She had about $473,000 on hand at the end of June.
The controller race opened wider after state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who had been expected to seek the seat, announced this summer he would retire from politics when his term expires.
State Controller John Chiang, who is also termed out, is raising money for a campaign for treasurer.
Pérez said he was running for controller at a Los Angeles town hall meeting, and he released a statement on a campaign website.
“Balancing our books is essential, but this job is about even more,” Pérez said in the statement. “It’s about promoting the financial stability that can offer every Californian the opportunity to succeed and contribute to our state’s prosperity.”