Jerry Brown endorses Krell for DA

Gov. Jerry Brown joined a list of top-ranking California Democrats to weigh in on the Sacramento County district attorney’s race when he announced his support Thursday for state Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell.

“As a local prosecutor and now as deputy attorney general, Maggy Krell is ready for the job,” Brown said in a statement released by the Krell campaign. “She has successfully prosecuted murderers, gang members and sex offenders.”

Krell is running against Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and former local and federal prosecutor Todd Leras.

Other statewide Democratic office holders to endorse Krell are California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and Treasurer Bill Lockyer. State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, also has endorsed Krell.

Schubert has been endorsed by outgoing Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully and the current sheriff, Scott Jones, and more than a dozen leading law enforcement management and labor groups. Some of the state’s leading figures in the victims’ rights movement, such as Marc Klaas, as well as their organizations, also have endorsed Schubert.

In a statement, Krell said of the endorsement, “Governor Brown knows what it takes to be an effective public safety leader. I am honored to have his support and look forward to an ongoing partnership to make our communities safer.”

As governor, Brown signed the October 2011 realignment law that has shifted tens of thousands of lower level offenders from state custody and supervision to the 58 California counties.

Krell has strongly supported the realignment concept while Schubert has taken a more skeptical view of the law that was enacted to deal with federal court orders for the state to reduce its prison population. Leras also is a strong supporter of realignment.

Schubert campaign manager David Gilliard dismissed the Democratic governor’s endorsement of Krell, the DA candidate who has sought to appeal to the county’s Democratic voters, as a “dog bites man” story that probably won’t mean much in the race.

“I think endorsements from politicians are not particularly helpful in 2014,” said Gilliard, a veteran Republican strategist. “I think we’re good with our law enforcement and crime victims’ support any day over partisan politicians.”

But Phil Giarrizzo, a Democratic political consultant, called Brown’s endorsement of Krell “extraordinary.”

“He doesn’t lend his name easily,” Giarrizzo said. “He doesn’t do knee-jerk endorsements. He’s very selective. The fact he’s putting his name out here is a statement, I think, of her qualities and abilities and is an uplifting event in this campaign.”

Related stories from Sacramento Bee