The election is three years away, but Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones’ campaign for attorney general already has amassed tens of thousands of dollars and locked up dozens of endorsements.
Since the Sacramento Democrat’s Oct. 1 announcement that he seeks to be California’s next top cop, Jones has reported raising $67,000. (He also has more than $2.6 million left over from his 2014 re-election campaign) Last week, he announced the backing of Democratic activists across the state, including statewide officers, regional chairs, and county central committee leaders.
The endorsements underscore “the depth and breadth of support” for his candidacy, Jones said in a statement. Such support, he added, will help him clinch among the most prized endorsements of all: that of the state party.
In 2010, Jones received the state party endorsement during his primary race against Hector De La Torre, a fellow member of the state Assembly from Los Angeles. Jones ended up defeating De La Torre by almost a half-million votes to secure the Democratic nomination.
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Chris Robles, the chairman of the San Bernardino County Democratic Central Committee, is among the party activists on Jones’ endorsement list. In an interview, Robles said Jones has built up strong connections with the party’s grass roots.
A trio of other Democratic politicos – former lawmakers Ellen Corbett, Dario Frommer and Lou Correa – have fundraising committees to run for attorney general in 2018 but have not made any candidacy announcement. Robles said he has not heard from those campaigns.
San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos, a Republican, has announced his candidacy for the post.
Attorney General Kamala Harris was re-elected to a second term last November. If she wins her race U.S. Senate next year, Gov. Jerry Brown could appoint someone to serve out her term.
Only Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has his sights on the Governor’s Office in 2018, has been as busy as Jones in recent weeks. Since Oct. 1, Newsom has collected more than $437,000.