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Saturday, November 26, 2022

3 Challengers Square Off in California Attorney General Race

The wildcard is Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who gave up her Republican affiliation four years ago and is running as an independent.

CALIFORNIA, United States – Low voter turnout and some political sportsmanship could decide which of the three challenges to take on California Attorney General Rob Bonta in November’s election on Tuesday.

Bonta, the only Democrat in the race, is running in his first statewide election since Gavin Newsom, a former state assembly member, was appointed to the position last year by Governor Gavin Newsom.

He faces two Republicans: Nathan Hochman, a former federal prosecutor and former assistant U.S. attorney general backed by the state party, and private attorney Eric Early, legal counsel for last year’s failed attempt to recall Newsom.

But the wildcard is Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who gave up her Republican affiliation four years ago and is running as an independent. Schubert has portrayed himself as a difficult-to-crime career prosecutor, but is both openly gay and pro-bono, which has made it difficult to pigeonhole social issues.

Green Party candidate Dan Kapelowitz is also running.

The California Attorney General’s office has long provided both a national platform and a stepping stone to a higher office, including most recently Vice President Kamala Harris, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and former Gov.

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Becerra used the office to fight then-President Donald Trump at every turn, while Bonta supported reproductive and LTGBQ rights nationally and the state’s gun control efforts.

Two groups that support Bonta are trying to tip the scales in her favor under California’s primary system, which advances the top two vote-getters in the general election, regardless of their party affiliation. He has invested more than $1 million in targeted messaging while advising Republican voters that Early is a Trump supporter, recall leader and defender of Second Amendment rights.

The four-way primary for attorney general in 2018 ended early in the election and the campaign has lagged far behind in fundraising.

Radio ads and mailers are in early position as the right conservative alternative to Bonta. If Republican voters agree, it would exclude the more liberal Hochman and Schubert, who may have more appeal to centrist voters and thus pose a greater risk for Bonta in a general election.

Dan Newman, a spokesman for one of the groups backed by the state’s Prison Guards Union that supports Bonta, said, “Bonta and Early are the only options for anyone who has an opinion about gun violence, legal abortion or Donald Trump.” ” He criticized other candidates “who refuse to take office or reveal their party’s preferences.”

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The state Republican Party called the strategy a “dirty trick” and the nonpartisan California Target Book, which tracks campaigns, dubbed it a “skull”, while noting that it was a common and legal means of candidate-shopping. has been made.

“They want me out of the race because I’m the biggest threat,” Schubert said. “They’re focusing on Early because they want traning in the general election. Eric Early is the most conservative, right-leaning candidate, it’s true, in a state that’s very, very blue.”

Hochman meanwhile tried to connect Bonta to liberal San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who faces a recall election on Tuesday, and to Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon.

Hochman labeled them “let them go”, noting that he represented his deputy prosecutors at Gascon in a successful trial, which still leaves the district attorney with some discretion in prosecuting repeat offenders. .

Conservative candidate for California AG wants to oust Rob Bonta

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