TIME 2014 Election

Embattled State Senator Gets Nearly 300,000 Votes Despite Dropping Out

Leland Yee
California state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, right, leaves the San Francisco Federal Building in San Francisco, March 26, 2014. Ben Margot—AP

Suspended California State Senator Leland Yee won nearly 10% of the vote on Tuesday, even though he dropped out of the race in late March

Nearly 300,000 Californians voted for Leland Yee in a Democratic primary Tuesday, leading the embattled state senator to garner 9.8% of the vote in a race to be named his party’s candidate for Secretary of State. But there’s just one problem: Yee dropped out of the race in March, but not before a deadline to remove his name from the ballot had passed.

The collection votes would hardly qualify Yee for a spot on the general election ballot. Still, the state senator — who plead not guilty to federal gun trafficking charges in April — finished second in the state’s Democratic primary. A total of 287,590 people voted for him.

The 65-year-old San Franciscan Democrat was indicted on federal gun trafficking and corruption charges in March. The charges followed a Federal Bureau of Investigations operation after which Yee was accused of accepting money from undercover agents to cover campaign debt. Yee also allegedly agreed to help the agents obtain illegal firearms.

Yee was suspended from the state senate without pay in March following the indictment.

Democrat Alex Padilla and Republican Pete Peterson will face one another in a general election this November.

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