California Interim Attorney General Xavier Becerra is well on his way to winning the office he currently serves.
The Attorney General announced his bid for the office on Thursday, after finishing the last two years of Senator Kamala Harris’ term. Sen. Harris resigned the post after being elected to the U.S. Senate, which in turn led Gov. Jerry Brown to tap Becerra (then a U.S. Rep.) for the post in what insiders have claimed to be a typical back-room deal.
Many democrats who caucus with the progressive-wing of the party hail Commissioner Dave Jones, who last year announced his intention to run for the post, as a renowned advocate for consumer rights in the state, as well as having seen through many of former President Barack Obama’s healthcare marketplace policies within the state to help expand coverage.
Notably, Commissioner Jones is against the death penalty, and has vowed as a campaign promise to not defend it as Attorney General.
Gen. Becerra, on the other hand, is for the death penalty, having claimed that he will continue to defend it–going directly against the party platform, which ironically enough opposes the death penalty.
However, some are now beginning to draw a distinct line between them.
This has led many establishment figures within the state Democratic Party structure, as well as its young democrats organization (including campaign slates), and leaders within the legislature to get behind Gen. Becerra in a desperate attempt before he publicly announced that he would run for the post full-time, in what appears to be a power grab.
Breaking against the mold, Vice-Chair Daraka Larimore-Hall recently took part in a campaign e-mail blast supporting Commissioner Jones in what is being viewed as a pushback, as well as having received support from current Chair Eric Bauman (who endorsed Jones as an old friend of his).
Sources close to this publication have claimed that this is also a play for identity politics, pinning Commissioner Jones as “another white male” against the state’s first latino Attorney General. Identity politics, in recent years, has led way to many of the party’s decisions.
Gen. Becerra will most likely go head-to-head with Insurance Commission Dave Jones in California’s “top-two” primary.
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