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Politics

2018 Election: Your guide to the candidates for California attorney general




The California Supreme Court building.
The California Supreme Court building.
Steve Rhodes/Flickr (by cc-nc-nd)

California voters have a chance to pick the state's top lawyer — the attorney general. The person in this job represents the state government in all its lawsuits and oversees the California Department of Justice, which prosecutes both criminal and civil cases on behalf of the state. 

The June 5 primary election will determine the top two candidates who will be appearing on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. The two who get the most votes will advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation.

We've interviewed each candidate to help you make your choice. Below are the candidates in alphabetical order by last name.

A photo of Judge Steven Bailey, one of the candidates for California's Attorney General position.
A photo of Judge Steven Bailey, one of the candidates for California's Attorney General position.
Twitter

Steven Bailey (Republican)

Bailey is a retired judge, who spent eight-and-a-half years on the El Dorado County Superior Court. Before that, he was a criminal defense attorney and started his career as deputy director at the State Department of Social Services. 

His platform: Bailey is an opponent of sanctuary state policy, and in-favor of a three-strikes rule for multiple offenders. He is endorsed by the Los Angeles Police Protective League and the National Rifle Association.

Hear the full interview with Steven Bailey. 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks to members of the media about the investigation of the shooting death of Stephon Clark in Sacramento, California on March 27, 2018.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks to members of the media about the investigation of the shooting death of Stephon Clark in Sacramento, California on March 27, 2018.
JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Xavier Becerra (Democrat) 

Becerra is the incumbent in the race to become California’s attorney general. He’s the first Latino person to hold the office. Before taking the job, Becerra served as deputy attorney general and was part of the state Assembly.

His platform: Becerra is in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives work permits and temporary reprieve from deportation to some immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. He also supports the Affordable Care Act and has been a public opponent of President Trump’s plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Hear the full interview with Xavier Becerra. 

Eric Early
Eric Early

Eric Early (Republican)

Early is a former Democrat and one of two Republicans running for attorney general. He’s described his base as moderate, with an appeal to middle-of-the-road Republicans and Democrats. Early is also managing partner at Early, Sullivan, Wright, Gizer and McRae, LLP, where he focuses on business and real estate litigation, and has offices in Los Angeles and New York.

His platform: Early has been vocal about stopping the early release of felons and repealing the state’s sanctuary state bill. He is in favor of gay marriage and abortion rights, and is fiscally conservative.

Hear the full interview with Eric Early

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is running for California Attorney General against incumbent Xavier Becerra.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is running for California Attorney General against incumbent Xavier Becerra.
KPCC

Dave Jones (Democrat)

Jones is the state insurance commissioner. For the past eight years, he’s been regulating the state’s insurance market for fraud and other insurance crime. He was also previously special assistant to Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and served on the Sacramento City Council.

His platform: Jones is running as the more progressive of the liberal candidates, and says he has refused to take political donations from oil companies. He’s also in favor of single-payer health care.

Hear the full interview with Dave Jones.

 

Ready for Election Day? Get up to speed on what you need to know with KPCC’s Voter Game Plan. Read up on the candidates and ballot measures, find out about registration deadlines and ask us your questions.