The race for California’s top cop focuses on abortion, gun control and crime
Hoping to become the state’s top cop, a candidate in the race for California’s top job — who is endorsed by the anti-illegal immigration group No More Migrants — says he supports abortion rights, wants to repeal laws that limit gun purchases and has criticized the “dysfunctional” criminal justice system.
But the candidate — a San Francisco police officer and former Los Angeles police sergeant — was questioned Monday on several issues that are sure to be prominent in the 2018 campaign for governor, the highest rung of statewide government.
Among them: a proposal to allow employers to pay “compassionate leave,” and whether he would support Proposition 63, which would limit the definition of what constitutes a “motorcar” to something with “an engine.”
This is the second time these issues have come up for debate in the state’s top law enforcement office. Three years ago, an attorney for the California Peace Officers Association filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission after the top cop, Chief Jerry Brown, was quoted by a local paper in support of Proposition 62, a bill that would allow police to confiscate a vehicle — without a warrant — if the driver is suspected of driving while intoxicated.
That measure was ultimately rejected by voters.
But for this particular candidate — who is running against Police Chief Michael Sullivan — the focus could be on the governor, who has recently said he’s open to decriminalizing marijuana and reducing sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, and the top state regulator, who recently signed off on a proposed state budget that is expected to be a little more generous than the governor’s — but still not as much as the governor’s.
At the end of the interview, Brown stopped by the candidate’s campaign headquarters to give him a hug.
“I’ve been here working for 20 years,” Brown told him. “I don’t want to leave. It’s probably one of the toughest jobs in the state.”
In January, Brown, a Democrat, became California’s first governor to run for a third nonpolitical term. In September, he endorsed Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in his race against former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat.
The governor says a candidate must be prepared to campaign against the political party that appoints the most powerful law enforcement official in the state.
“This is going to be a tough